Retailers working across different geographies and locations have
complex shipping operations. In this QAD Precision Report we look at
how retailers can standardize shipping and contain costs with multi
carrier shipping software.
The last 15 months or so has been extraordinary for consumers as well
as e-commerce and retail businesses. The pandemic sent parcel volumes
skyrocketing in unprecedented ways. However, when it comes to
e-commerce, the genie is out of the bottle — online shopping will
continue to become an ever greater part of our consumer habits.
In order to survive and thrive, retailers need a way to manage
growing volumes, standardize parcel shipping and leverage flexible,
multi carrier shipping software.
For omnichannel and e-commerce retailers standardizing customer
delivery operations is no easy task. When you add in different
distribution centers, bricks-and-mortar stores and geographic
locations, this can seem impossible.
Most retailers want to offer the same high levels of customer service
through all channels. However, when relying on a third party to
execute critical services, this is a challenge.
High volume and high value retailers often use one or two trusted
carriers. This trust is important. Your customers will blame you, not
your carrier, if a delivery is late or damaged.
Having said that, retailers who rely on just one or two carrier
partners are vulnerable to higher delivery costs. Plus there is the
risk of orders going unfulfilled or longer transit times. Your
preferred carrier could be experiencing capacity issues, particularly
during peak. Plus there is always the possibility of an unforeseen
disaster, such as a fire in a hub, or a global pandemic.
Every single one of us is somebody’s customer. We reward retailers
and brands with loyalty and repeat business if they make shopping
pleasurable and convenient for us. That is true whether we shop at a
retail location and online.
For online shoppers, fast, and generally free, parcel shipping —
along with speed and accuracy — is critical. The delivery experience
enhances customer loyalty and protects brand reputation. Fast
delivery, by itself, is not a differentiator. As shoppers, we all want
flexible delivery options that best suit our needs.
Retailers can standardize customer deliveries across all locations
carrier shipping software. Multi carrier software makes it
possible for retailers to apply the same processes and business rules
to all global locations. Here are five most important benefits of
multi carrier shipping solutions:
Flexible delivery choices
Automated routing and shipping
Simplified cross-border shipping
Your customers are not all the same. In addition, their delivery
needs can change from one week to the next. Daytime residential
delivery may be perfect when people are working from home. At other
times, a store pick-up option or collection point might be more convenient.
Over the counter medication and other emergency supplies might
require same-day delivery. Subscription boxes, however, work best at
a regular cadence. Multi carrier shipping solutions support a flexible
omni-channel strategy that customers can personalize according to
Multi carrier shipping systems enable retailers to automate package
routing from warehouses and other DCs. The solution routes every
package to the lowest cost carrier that will meet the delivery
deadline. Parcels are automatically assigned using an automated
routing guide along with configurable business rules.
All documentation and shipping labels are automatically created. This
saves time and money. Multi carrier shipping speeds up processing time
while controlling shipping costs.
To meet the demand for one-day and same-day small parcel shipping,
retailers need to get closer to customers. This gives omni-channel
retailers an advantage. Unlike pure-play e-commerce retailers, as they
can use their store locations to fulfill online orders.
Retail staff are not professional shippers. However, retailers can
standardize shipping in store locations using multi carrier desktop
shipping. Staff can easily compare carriers to find the best
service and cost. The solution also prepares all the documentation
required to complete the shipment.
Delays happen. Even the most efficient operations experience them
from time to time. However, these too should be proactively managed.
The one thing you do not want is a customer contacting you asking
“Where’s my parcel?”
Your customers are more forgiving of delays if you let them know what
is being done to rectify the problem.
With multi carrier shipping software, shipping data is not siloed.
Having a central repository for all shipping data maximizes visibility.
Logistics managers have real-time
insights into what is happening across all shipments anywhere in
the world. They are no longer in the dark about shipment delays or
issues. Instead they will receive notifications at every step of the
delivery journey. This results in a more proactive strategy if and
when delays happen.
Cross-border and international e-commerce are growing. However,
international shipments involve lots of customs documentation and
export reporting. With multi carrier shipping software, retailers can
automate these documentation workflows. As a result, multi carrier
shipping streamlines the international shipping process.
Furthermore, if a retailer is engaged in international e-commerce a
multi carrier solution will give you more options. This includes a
wider variety of delivery services and routes to fulfill all customer
orders, no matter where they are.
UPS, DHL Express and FedEx may be the biggest players. However, there
are important regional carriers across much of the world, particularly
in Asia and Europe. Unsurprisingly, these carriers each have their own
set of regulations and protocols. Your multi carrier shipping solution
provider takes responsibility for ensuring you remain up to date with
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