Raise the Bar on Your E-Commerce Shipping Strategy
Raising the bar on your e-commerce shipping strategy is one of the most impactful choices to grow your business. Enhancing your shipping experience doesn’t only satisfy your customers and keep them coming back for more, but it also saves you money in the long run.
When small businesses are still getting started, standard shipping rates might seem like the only option through single carriers, like USPS or FedEx. But today’s shoppers are all about fast and free shipping. Convey’s 2021 annual consumer survey found that the most critical service a retailer can provide for online orders is free two-day shipping, with 71.5% of shoppers in agreement.
But these perks aren’t only reserved for large businesses, small and medium-sized retailers can achieve them too. Businesses that do implement these strategies can see benefits through other means like increased conversions, average order value, and operational efficiency. Here are some ways we see e-commerce businesses of all sizes push the envelope on their shipping strategies.
A modern approach to shipping
When shoppers are actively comparing stores and their prices, it’s helpful to build an experience that caters directly to their needs. Tweaks to your website, such as pop-ups to alert shoppers of how much more they need to spend to earn free shipping, can help your average order value. You could also try A/B testing to determine what your customers prioritize in their shopping experience. You could offer more shipping options to one batch of customers, and the other might have a limited selection. Then you can implement more methods that bring you more conversions.
Of course, technology improvements aren’t limited to the front end of your website. Implementing APIs – like EasyPost – can modernize your end-to-end logistics stack. We work with over 100 carriers to provide rate shopping, tracking, insurance, and address verification. While you might encounter regular downtime with other shipping technology, that isn't the case with EasyPost. We help our customers ship day and night across the globe with 99.99% API uptime - the best in the industry.
Even if you wanted to implement these solutions into your e-commerce platform, it wouldn’t be an overnight fix. Ironing out these processes can take time, and it’s wise to prioritize the solutions that will solve your most significant problems.
E-Commerce shipping challenges and solutions
When you're in the e-commerce world, shipping rates directly impact how your business performs. High rates will cause customers to click away, but simply allowing for free shipping will cut into your pockets. Finding the best shipping rates is difficult to do on your own, but implementing multi-carrier shipping software can ensure you get the best rates with accurate delivery times. On top of that, your customers will appreciate having options too.
Another hurdle retailers face is communicating the shipping process to their customers. Three out of five consumers say package tracking capabilities are important, according to Convey’s 2021 survey. Especially during the peak holiday season, shoppers want to know where their package is and when it will arrive. Unfortunately, sometimes delays happen too. Taking the extra step to connect with your customers and keep them updated via email or text gives them the confidence that their package is in good hands and they come away with a better image of your brand.
Another source of difficulty in e-commerce is human error. This can include incorrect data entry on your website, incorrectly weighing a package, and even a customer inputting the wrong address. The more automation you have throughout your shipping process, the less likely you will encounter these errors. If your shipping operation is becoming more than you can handle on your own, it might be easier to start working with a 3PL that has mastered these processes.
EasyPost is designed to overcome these shipping obstacles and help your business improve its shipping strategy. We can solve your complex logistics problems with our suite of APIs while also heightening your customer experience.
How a shipping API can help
To get the best shipping rates, you'll want to compare your options using EasyPost's SmartRate API. This first-of-its-kind rating engine displays shipping prices and time-in-transit predictions with 98% accuracy. This optimization enables your business to save money or ship faster, depending on your needs. This software is easy to implement, so you can start saving in 15 minutes or less.
EasyPost's tracking API provides users and their customers with real-time shipment updates. With branded tracking pages, you can increase customer satisfaction and notify them of their package's status changes. That way, you can manage both your in-house workflows and own your customer experience simply and efficiently.
We also have systems in place to minimize human error. Our CASS-certified Address Verification API is 99.8% accurate and ten times faster than competitors like SmartyStreets. Plus, it's cheaper than geolocation through Google.
We continue to add more and more features to our systems every year, helping thousands of companies ship billions of packages worldwide. We're more than prepared – especially when peak season rolls around.
Navigating a successful peak season
According to Adobe Analytics on Black Friday 2021, online retailers brought in $8.9 billion in sales. Despite being down from $9 billion in 2020, a National Retail Federation survey shows that 46% of consumers began their holiday shopping earlier than usual.
At EasyPost, we put months of work into preparing for the holiday season. We know what our users are looking for – a lightning-fast API with 99.99% uptime. By migrating data, communicating effectively with shipping carriers, and building a buffer between users and carriers, we aim to prevent downtime, parcel mistakes, or losses. Year after year, we commit ourselves to rise to the needs of our users.