Author Archives: Ashley Overton

PreImagine 2018 Sponsor Spotlight: Vertex

Author: Ashley Overton  |  April 2, 2018

Vertex Magento Imagine Image

Although this is Vertex‘s first year attending PreImagine, they have had their partnership with Magento and offered simplified sales tax for Magento merchants for 3 years. They also had the wonderful opportunity to announce the signing of their Premier Partnership at last year’s Imagine event!

Vertex provides cloud and on-premis solutions that can be tailored to specific industries for every major line of tax, including sales and use, income, value-added and payroll. Merchants faced with the challenges of selling online, can access the software directly from the Magento dashboard in order to automate their sales tax collections.

Erin Kissling, Partner Marketing Manager at Vertex, sheds some light on what it’s like to be apart of the Magento community and what they are looking forward to as PreImagine newbies this year.

Where will you be traveling to Las Vegas from? 

We are based in King of Prussia, PA right outside of Philadelphia where a majority of us will be traveling in from. I hope everyone is ready to hear about how proud we are of our recent Eagles Super Bowl Championship and debate about who has the best cheesesteaks. I will definitely be requesting “Motown Philly” at Pre-Imagine.

We also have a few members of team traveling in from Georgia and Texas – we are working on converting them to Eagles fans.

What does being apart of the Magento Community mean to you?

Being a part of the Magento Community is truly unique and inclusive. I can honestly say that Magento and other partners have welcomed us with open arms to this ecosystem! We have not only been able to help merchants with their sales tax needs, but we have built friendships and comradery with others in the community. With so many Magento merchants powered by Vertex and the most recent core bundled integration, our Magento Premier Partner could not be more important to us.

We are always growing and learning. Is there any one thing you would like to learn during the conference as a whole?

I am always excited for breakout sessions that focus on the merchant perspective to learn about their view surrounding the checkout experience, site performance, and efficiencies. Hearing directly from merchants is always so insightful and allows us as partners to ensure we are providing them the most streamlined tax offering for their online store.

Additionally I am looking forward to attending the payments panel and hearing what is new in the 2.2.4 release.

How many years has Vertex attended PreImagine? How many as a sponsor?

This is so exciting for Vertex because it is our first year attending and sponsoring PreImagine. Our team is looking forward to spending time with the community and partners.

Why did Vertex decide to sponsor PreImagine this year?

We have been so welcomed by Magento and other partners and felt like we wanted to support the community. Karen Baker was so nice to invite Vertex to participate in an Austin Meetup in February – everyone at the Meetup was raving about how great of an event it was. We wanted to support Karen and the awesome ShipperHQ team in their famous event! How Karen included us in the Meetup is a prime example of how welcoming this community is as a whole.

What is your favorite memory from past PreImagines?

We are looking forward to creating some this year! I can’t wait to have this answer ready to go for 2019.

What are you looking forward to most this year?

We are looking forward to networking with the amazing Magento community. I am really excited to see what swag everyone sends and what unique theme everyone comes up with.

I am also excited to cut some rug and dance! Hopefully I will be physically able to still move after the Big Dam Run – TBD.

What would you list as the biggest benefit of attending PreImagine?

We are looking forward to reuniting and networking with others in the community. We all know we will be swamped during the Imagine show, so it will be great to hear how everyone is doing and catching up! I am so excited to see other partners and Magento team members that I don’t get a chance to see often. It is always fascinating to me to network and learn from others in the community – I think sometimes it’s so easy to just focus on what your solution offers. It’s really great to be able to hear from other solution and technology partners about the value they bring to the Magento platform and the problems they solve for merchants.

Do you have any advice for first time attendees?

Since we are newbies, I do not have any advice but if anyone has any – email me! I am all ears!

Are you exhibiting at Magento Imagine? If so, do you want to share anything exciting you have in store for people visiting your booth?

Vertex is a proud Platinum Sponsor of Imagine and we will be at booth #421. Our booth is going to be full of fun people, unique swag, and all of the answers to your sales tax questions!

Link to full article

PreImagine 2018 Sponsor Spotlight: MageMojo

Author: Ashley Overton  |  March 12, 2018

20170402_191026This will be MageMojo‘s third year attending and sponsoring PreImagine! Their team joined the Magento community in 2009 and have actively shown their support by working to make improvements within the community.

MageMojo is a hosting company built by Magento developers. They focus only on Magento hosting which allows them to provide a level of support unseen in the industry. They also develop code, write crons, drink MageMojitos and love to have fun!

We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Edward Vigil, Director of Marketing and Sales at MageMojo. This witty interview will have you prepared for PreImagine as he shares past experiences and how to best navigate the event.

Where will you be traveling to Las Vegas from?

NYC baby…..and Texas yeeha…..also PA, Michigan and Ohio. We are from everywhere – that’s what makes us great!

We are incorporated out of the great state of New York, but our teams are all over the world. We like not having boundaries in seeking our talent, so we search for the best no matter where they live.

What does being a part of the Magento Community mean to you?

Since we joined the community, we have worked to understand what the community needs most. All of our success has come from understanding issues raised by the community and finding ways to solve them.

We help facilitate a platform to discuss our experience and hear from others about their triumphs and issues.

20170402_191009We are always growing and learning. Is there any one thing you would like to learn during this year’s conference?

The Magento roadmap – what’s going on in the Magento Universe. Find out what the community is working on, the problems they have and how we can help…and of course see who jumps in the pool this year!

How would you describe your first PreImagine experience?

Oh, that Karen :)

What did you find most enjoyable about sponsoring and attending PreImagine last year?

Our CTO, Martin Pachol, got detained by security. We pretended to be working on getting him released. Never heard how he got released…hmmm

His expense report was creative!

What do you plan to do different this year to improve your experience?

Sleep less..haha….We are trying to meet and get to know as many new people as we can and also make time for our old friends. We had to get a booth twice as big this year so you can all come visit!

What are you looking forward to most this year?

The camaraderie of the Magento community, seeing old friends and meeting this Magneto everyone keeps talking about.

What would you list as the biggest benefit of attending PreImagine?

Sets a great tone for the days ahead. We get to see friends having a good time and get a headstart on networking. Always easier to get some face time with Magento celebs at PreImagine including the ShipperHQ team.

20170402_181439Do you have any advice for first time attendees?

Find your Mojo and go hard. You’re gonna love it!

Are you exhibiting at Magento Imagine? If so, do you want to share anything exciting you have instore for people visiting your booth?

Swag, Swag and more SWAG! Stop by for free shirts and we thought of a cool poster with Magento database layouts you have to checkout… Get your Mojo here baby!


Link to full article

PreImagine 2018 Sponsor Spotlight: Dotmailer

Author: Ashley Overton  |  March 7, 2018

Dotmailer started as a Magento SI in 2012 and has been an active part of the community since. Their team is joining us for another year of fun and networking as a PreImagine sponsor.

WinstonsDotmailer is now a marketing automation platform with email at its core empowering B2B, B2C and eCommerce businesses. Their software enables marketers in 150 countries to use advanced data to design, test and send powerful automated campaigns.

Lindsay Mearman, Marketing Manager at Dotmailer, took some time to share her expertise on the Magento and PreImagine experience.

Where will you be traveling to Las Vegas from? 

Most of our staff will be traveling from NYC, we also have a few people traveling from our London office.

What does being a part of the Magento Community mean to you?

With a strong B2B background but limited B2C dotmailer decided to relocate the Magento expertise from within the agency to focus on building an industry leading integration with Magento. With now over 500 Magento merchants powered by dotmailer and a Magento Premier Partner our relationship with Magento couldn’t be more important to us.

How would you describe your first PreImagine experience?

A party and networking event like no other, it’s simply an event you can’t afford to miss

What did you find most enjoyable about sponsoring and attending PreImagine last year?

The opportunity to meet and networking with most of Magento’s greatest, smartest and most loyal community members.

What do you plan to do different this year to improve your experience?

We didn’t resource heavily enough for direct new business sales, and 2017 shocked us with a much higher merchant turnout than previous years.

What are you looking forward to most this year?

Same as every year, the comfiness of the beds in the Wynn, especially after an entire day on your feet and miles of walking.

Image uploaded from iOS-2What would you list as the biggest benefit of attending PreImagine?

Nurturing relationships with our partners and clients.

Do you have any advice for first time attendees?

Don’t be shy, introduce yourself to as many as people as possible. Everyone is kind and friendly, and it’s the best opportunity you have in 2018 to build connections.

Are you exhibiting at Magento Imagine?

Yes, Dotmailer will be exhibiting at Imagine.

 

Link to full article

PreImagine 2018 Sponsor Spotlight: Classy Llama

Author: Ashley Overton  |  February 22, 2018

Classy Llama has been apart of the Magento Community since their inception in 2010, and has played a role in the growth of the community providing various additions to the code base and being an active contributor across the agency, merchant, and technology space. They have attended every PreImagine event since it started in 2012 and sponsored for the very first time last year!

The team focuses on development, marketing, and consulting services for online merchants considering or already on the Magento platform. They are creative, caring, and credentialed eCommerce professionals who provide a holistic approach to business needs.

We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Paul Ebisch, President of Classy Llama, about their past PreImagine and Imagine experiences and learned more about what they look forward to this year.

17758614_1247272231989180_7429917526687209119_oWhere will you be traveling to Las Vegas from?

We will be traveling from the land of Llamas in Springfield, MO.

What does being apart of the Magento Community mean to you?

The value of being in the Magento Community has been vast given it is a unique space where businesses have come together tackle shared issues that face eCommerce on a daily basis.

What did you find most enjoyable about sponsoring and attending PreImagine last year?

It is always a blast to see as many from the Magento community early on at Imagine. It takes the energy level up a notch with excitement to hear how everyone is doing.

What are you looking forward to most this year? 

Seeing what kinds of merchants are being attracted to the new Magento platform.

What would you list as the biggest benefit of attending PreImagine?

The opportunity to connect in face-to-face interactions with those we work with virtually throughout the Magento Community.

Do you have any advice for first time attendees?

Get a stuffed llama early on.

17632283_1241606619222408_5913266308139929168_oAre you exhibiting at Magento Imagine? If so, do you want to share anything exciting you have in-store for people visiting your booth?

Classy Llama will be exhibiting and highlighting our work in the technical SEO space within the Magento platform. And, as always, we will have all new llama swag to share with the world.

Link to full article

PreImagine 2018 Sponsor Spotlight: Subscribe Pro

Author: Ashley Overton  |  February 13, 2018

Dashboard-Screenshot-GrowthSubscribe Pro was born out of a Magento development agency and their founder has been working with Magento since the early days. The company is extremely involved in the Magento Community and are no stranger to PreImagine. They made their first appearance in 2013, and have even been involved as sponsors in the past.

Subscribe Pro is the leading SaaS subscription commerce solution for Magento. They integrate closely with Magento and allow merchants to run replenishment, club and membership subscription programs. Subscribe Pro works to help brands increase the average customer lifetime value (LTV) for their most loyal customers.

We interviewed Garth Brantley, CEO of Subscribe Pro, to get insight on the Subscribe Pro PreImagine experience and to see what they look forward to most this year:

Where will you be traveling to Las Vegas from? 

We will be travelling from Baltimore, MD, home of the Ravens and Orioles, where we are based.

What does being apart of the Magento Community mean to you?

Absolutely the best part of working with Magento is the Community. It has been humbling to witness what this community can do and it’s an honor to be able to give back a little bit by supporting events such as #preimagine.

We are always growing and learning. Is there any one thing you would like to learn during this year’s conference?

Yes, learning and growth makes life great, and is essential in eCommerce and any tech related field. I’d say I’m most excited to learn about what other folks in the industry are doing to apply new technologies to expand eCommerce beyond the web. Things like PWA’s, Alexa, Google Home, etc.

Also, AI has been hot in the wider tech world for a while now and I’m pretty excited to learn about new ways it’s being applied to eCommerce.

How would you describe your first PreImagine experience?

I want to say that was maybe 2013? I remember baking in the hot sun around the pool at the M hotel and developers downing shots of vodka.

What did you find most enjoyable about sponsoring and attending PreImagine last year?

PreImagine has consistently been the most enjoyable industry networking event I’ve attended. The level of energy and enthusiasm from a diverse range of attendees is always inspiring.

What do you plan to do different this year to improve your experience?

Last year our travel schedules had us dealing with logistics issues during the event. We plan arrive early and maximize time spent enjoying the event and engaging with our fellow Magento Community members.

What are you looking forward to most this year?

Excited to see what the new venue and larger capacity bring for the event.

What would you list as the biggest benefit of attending PreImagine?

Networking with a diverse range of folks from the industry.

Do you have any advice for first time attendees?

Arrive early and rested, pre-hydrate.

Are you exhibiting at Magento Imagine? If so, do you want to share anything exciting you have in-store for people visiting your booth?

Yes. We’re pretty excited about the conference this year in general, and we’re lining up some fun goodies for the booth.

Link to full article

New Partner Introduction: VL OMNI brings Seamless Data Integration to ShipperHQ Customers

Author: Ashley Overton  |  December 14, 2017

Welcome to the age of automation!

Integration can be a huge amount of work, and this is the very reason we are proud to announce our partnership with VL OMNI.

VL OMNI helps merchants save time and money as they move data seamlessly through their infrastructure. As an agile and scalable SaaS data integration platform for real-time accurate customer order data, shipment details, inventory, prices and more, the VL OMNI Dashboard allows omnichannel and ecommerce businesses to grow and accelerate their business by providing strategic one-to-many integrations. By connecting applications together in a way that makes sense to the unique needs of your business, data is normalized with business rules applied directly to the data transformation for true, 100% integration. Perfectly automated data, exactly where and when your business needs it, fit to your business’ needs.

VL OMNI includes tracking for:

  • Typical transactions
  • Orders In & Out
  • Invoices In & Out
  • Shipping Status Update
  • Product Information Sync
  • Order Acknowledgements
  • Inventory Qty Updates
  • Price Sync
  • Warehouse Orders In & Out by status
  • And more

Current and prospective customers of ShipperHQ can look forward to benefiting from this newly established partnership. The partnership with VL OMNI expands the depth to which ShipperHQ data can be transmitted and automated.  The solution works to fit your business rather than forcing the business to adapt to the solution. Not only can standard ShipperHQ data movements be automated while taking business-specific rules into account, but with VL OMNI, ShipperHQ data can now be fully integrated with on-premise applications, legacy applications such as ERP systems, customized applications, and with trading partners using EDI (Electronic data interchange). 

VL was born in the EDI space in 1994, and has evolved within this market to expand into providing API integration capabilities to merchants who are looking to scale and remain competitive. With over 200 businesses who trust VL OMNI to move data seamlessly through their infrastructure as they grow, expand and accelerate their businesses, and over 280 application integrations in their connector library, VL OMNI is quickly becoming a trusted partner of the omni-channel sector and application providers.

Learn more about VL OMNI

Link to full article

Meet us in NYC for The Shopify Plus November Meetup

Author: Ashley Overton  |  November 21, 2017

Shopify Plus Meetup NYC

We’re thrilled to be traveling to the Big Apple to co-sponsor the Shopify Plus November Meetup! Because the August meetup turned out to be such a huge success, Dotmailer decided to give the community another chance to come out and enjoy networking and enriched discussions about available features and products on the platform.

The Shopify Plus November Meetup will be the final meetup of the year, so we are expecting to end the year with an even bigger bang. All events during the meetup will be geared towards helping merchants grow. This is a chance for long-time Shopify community members to reconnect, and gives newcomers a chance to develop relationships.

Our team was more than honored to receive an invite to sponsor this month’s event. Not only do sponsors help make the event and refreshments free for attendees, but they are responsible for contributing to the event content. The event will be segmented into two sessions: digital “speed dating” where attendees can learn about the sponsors’ technology and capabilities, followed by networking with a focus on merchants.

To bring a special touch to the session, sponsors are able to bing a special guest. Their special guest will be a merchant that actually uses their product and can speak to attendees about their experience with the product and Shopify as a whole.

Alex CranmerWe will have Alex Cranmer of International Military Antiques (IMA) joining us at our table as our special guest of the evening. You may already be familiar with Alex and IMA if you watch History Channel’s show, Pawn Stars; if not, you should check the company out online. IMA is a spectacular antique firearms and military collectibles dealer and expert that sells very unique and valuable items online. Alex is a great person to connect with to discuss obstacles that come along with selling items with strict shipping restrictions.

To cover specific Shopify Plus shipping questions, we have Karen Baker and Quentin Montalto from ShipperHQ attending. We already service a number of diverse and unique customers on Shopify, so we are psyched to take on attendees’ most challenging shipping questions.

Merchants come to ShipperHQ when they find that the shipping tools that come standard with their cart aren’t enough to fulfill their business needs. Whether they are looking to cover their shipping costs, address cart abandonment, expand the shipping options they offer, or utilize shipping promotions, ShipperHQ can help. We will be available for demos to show off the power of ShipperHQ and demonstrate how it can work to your needs.

Contact us if you would like to attend and we’ll get you added to the list!

 

Link to full article

2017 Holiday Shipping Cutoff Dates

Author: Ashley Overton  |  October 30, 2017

cuttoff-dates-2017-blue-min

Let’s end another holiday season with timely shipping!

We want to ensure everyone has a jolly holiday season this year, so we have created a quick summary of holiday shipping cutoff dates for a few of the major carriers. We hope this guide helps you remain stress free this season and reminds you to keep on top of cutoff dates for all the carriers you plan to use this year.

UPS

The UPS year-end holiday schedule starts in November for Thanksgiving and ends in January. You can download the full schedule from their site to ensure easy access. And, if you are shipping internationally this holiday season, take a look at UPS’ World Holidays schedule which maps out 3 months of global holidays. There are plenty of holidays to be mindful of around the world between the months of October and December. Below you will find a summary for the most frequently used UPS services.

Service Ship By Notes
UPS Ground Contact UPS Dependent on origin and destination
UPS 3 Day Select December 18th US Domestic shipments only
UPS 2nd Day Air December 20th US Domestic shipments only, some limitations in Alaska and Hawaii
UPS Next Day Air December 22nd US Domestic shipments only, some limitations in Alaska and Hawaii

* Between Nov 20th and Dec 30th, a limited number of UPS Ground and UPS Standard packages that have transit times of three or more days and specific origins and destinations will require an additional day in transit. Contact UPS for more information.

FedEx

FedEx has published the last days to ship to ensure your orders are delivered by December 25th. Those needing to ship a last minute delivery will be happy to know, the FedEx SameDay delivery option will be available 24/7 for urgent deliveries (even on the 25th). FedEx also has you covered for your international shipments, you can find rates and transit time for global delivery here.

Service Ship By Notes
FedEx Home Delivery & FedEx Ground Contact FedEx US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx First Overnight December 23rd US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx 2 Day December 23rd US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx Priority Overnight December 23rd US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx SameDay December 25th US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico

USPS

USPS has published holiday mail-by-dates for all their domestic and international services to help everyone avoid the holiday rush. If you have a loved one in the military, you will want to keep their Military Holiday Shipping Deadlines in reach as well. Below you will find a summary for frequently used USPS services.

Service Ship By Notes
First Class Mail December 19th US Domestic shipments only
Priority Mail December 20th US Domestic shipments only
Priority Mail Express December 22nd US Domestic shipments only

These summaries will serve as a great starting point as you plan for the holiday season, but should not be used as the only resource for your shipping management. These summaries only contain information for some of the major carriers, and you should keep up with restrictions and cutoff dates for every carrier you use. The carrier’s website will hold valuable information, but remember you can contact your carrier representative with more specific questions and concerns.

Link to full article

A BBQ Restaurant Eliminates Their Shipping Pains and Increases Efficiency with ShipperHQ

Author: Ashley Overton  |  June 7, 2017

This success story highlights a ShipperHQ merchant selling a wide array of items online including perishable goods and how they transitioned from using a custom shipping solution to become more efficient.


rudysRudy’s BBQ and barbeque in general is known as a staple of Texas and many other states of the south. Rudy’s began its journey as a gas station and general store near the University of Texas, shortly after opening they decided to expand and offer great homemade food for a modest price. They have since opened in multiple states throughout the South and even have an online menu so all their fans around the US can enjoy their meats, rubs and sauses.

The BBQ company expanded to the ecommerce market in 2001 only selling sauces and rubs. In order to handle their shipping needs, their developers built a custom shipping solution. In 2011, things got a bit trickier in the Rudy’s BBQ shipping world as they decided to add meats to their online menu. When shipping meats they had to put specific rules in place that would only allow the meat to be in transit for a limited amount of time and to only be delivered to certain areas. With their custom shipping solution, they were able to implement the shipping options they wanted along with the rules they needed, but the build and maintenance was very time consuming and it wasn’t the most accurate way to develop the shipping rates they showed at checkout.

After running a custom shopping cart for 9 years, the Rudy’s team decided it was time to find a solution that would allow them to implement the rules they currently have set up, easily make updates when needed, and help them to accurately pack their products.

Rudy's BBQ

Less Time Shipping, More Time Selling

Prior to ShipperHQ, the addition of a new product or changes in restrictions would call for tons of manual work involving their team to update custom code. Just a simple change could cost the company a lot of time and money.

Creed Ford, owner of Pictoric Media, explains their initial shipping challenges:

Our team would build out rules and it was open source, so we could build any rules that we wanted, but it was extremely hard to support and update. It was a big capital expense and was even expensive to update.

Rudy’s BBQ was introduced to ShipperHQ about a year ago and were happy to hear that they would no longer have to worry about their shipping! They decided to take advantage of the customization service which allowed our team to completely handle the ShipperHQ implementation and made for a quick and smooth transition. And now, the team can easily make changes to their configuration in minutes.

Creed on using ShipperHQ:

The shipping options we use now are very similar to what we had before since we had a custom shipping solution and had it where we wanted it. And, having the ability to create and use Shipping Rules has made ShipperHQ worth it. We no longer have to spend hours or days making changes to our code when we have a requirement change or add an item to the menu.

Improvements Their Team & Customers Can Enjoy

After further use of ShipperHQ, the team found that they are not only saving time with shipping, but they now have better access to the data they need and can produce more accurate shipping quotes.

Efficiency and savings was the number one metric and goal which was hit!

Creed on reaching their goals:

We have the ability to have data come through the systems and not have it go through code which was painful for our team. Having a system intelligent enough to pack product into correct boxes has also helped us to give more accurate shipping quotes.

By utilizing the Dimensional Shipping and Date & Time features they are able to charge their customers the correct amount for shipping. So, their customers aren’t faced with higher than expected charges, and Rudy’s can rest well knowing that their shipping costs are covered every time.

The Future is Looking Bright

Rudy’s is still pretty early on in their transition from their custom shipping solution, but they are looking forward to a bright future with ShipperHQ. Now that the team can more efficiently ship what they sell online, they have even more time to focus on their company goal which is to provide great tasting, homestyle food at reasonable prices. With shipping in order they are able to hold their online store to that same standard, and remain extremely competitive in the BBQ industry. We are excited to see what is instore for Rudy’s within the next year!

Link to full article

5 Tips to Get More Accurate Shipping

Author: Ashley Overton  |  June 2, 2017

An order comes in, you know what you wanted to charge the customer for delivery, but then you realize what they paid was actually a dollar less than what the shipment will cost! Now what? Majority of the time you end up eating that cost, unless you want to be that guy ringing up your customers notifying them that you need to charge them a little more than they initially expected.

One dollar or ten cents may not seem like a lot when you take in one order, but imagine bringing in thousands of sales. At this point you are losing out on hundreds or thousands of dollars just in shipping. Or, you are spending tons of time sorting out each order and contacting customers. Either way, in the end you are paying the cost.

This scenario only shows two of many reasons behind the importance of calculating and showing accurate rates and options at checkout.

The Importance of Accurate Shipping Rates

bad good
Undercharge and you are left covering the cost Consider the dimensional weight of products and apply surcharges when necessary.
Over charge and risk scaring customers away Apply discounts or pull the negotiated rates you receive from the carrier. Considering dimensional weight can be helpful here as well.
When the checkout isn’t transparent and you leave customers guessing about charges Show time in transit or estimated delivery date and name each option accurately to describe what it is.
Show too few options and lose a chance for upselling Try offering a standard option, expedited option and free shipping if possible. Consider showing estimated delivery to upsell faster options.
Show too many options and risk confusing customers Try rate shopping so that only the lowest, most attractive options are shown.

Control your shipping, don’t let your shipping control you

You should have complete control over the rates you are charging your customers. You made an educated decision on what you charge for the product and the same should happen for your shipping. This way you can make a business decision on whether you want to to charge more or less than what the service provider you use is charging you. If you want more attractive shipping, you may want to undercharge for shipping and build that cost into the price of the products. Or, you may want to overcharge via shipping to cover the cost of packing. Whatever you decide, you should be in control and should not be reacting to what your rates decide to do.

Show the services you actually use

The options you show at checkout should reflect the services you are actually using. This doesn’t mean you need to display the exact carrier and service name to your customers, but you should indicate what the service is or does.

For example, if you are using LTL freight to ship your larger items, you shouldn’t show a small package or ground shipping/standard shipping option in your checkout. Not only will this scenario require you to add a surcharge to cover the cost of the shipment, you could also confuse your customers.

This holds true for other services as well. You don’t want to charge customers for same day delivery when they believe they are paying for a slower service. The customer will think they are being overcharged and many times this can lead to cart abandonment.

The more transparent the checkout the better. You don’t want customers questioning why they are being charged more than they would expect from the service they selected. And it can be quite shocking to find a freight truck in front of your home when you are expecting delivery from a small package carrier.

Use Dimensional Shipping

ShipperHQ Dimensional ExampleWhen you ship a product you are charged for on the billable weight which is the higher
value between dimensional weight and actual weight. Dimensional weight is (length x height x width)/166, but keep in mind that the divisor can change. So if you are delivering something large but light and only calculate the items actual weight, you are undercharging the customer for that shipment.

A great example is Shipper the Bear. He is extremely large (close to 8ft tall when standing) but light in weight for his size; his billable weight would come from his dimensional weight, so you would want to stuff him in the smallest box possible and minimize the width, height and length of the package. You should account for the product’s size and pack densely.

With that said, it is important that you are shipping items in proper boxes. You could save a lot of money by ensuring you are not packing small items in large boxes and leaving tons of extra open space in the box.

Rate from Multiple Warehouses & Dropshipping

Having functionality that supports rating from multiple origins is crucial for those who ship via multiple warehouses and for dropshippers. If you ship from two or more different locations it is important to show the rates for the correct origin, or warehouse, each time. When you only rate from one location, it is very likely that you are overcharging or undercharging customers that receive orders from your other locations.

If you have one warehouse on the East Coast and another on the West Coast but only use the West Coast warehouse for rating, you are overcharging customers on the East Coast that receive their shipments from your east coast warehouse. This is because your checkout believes it is shipping the order across the country, when in reality it could only be shipping across state or city.

Now think larger scale, if you have warehouses in different countries your rates will look incredibly different than how they should. Other options you should consider are whether you want your orders to ship from fewest warehouses or from nearest. Sometimes it is cheaper for sellers to ship multiple items from one or two If you are just getting started and want to understand more about how dropshipping works, you should checkout this guide on dropshipping.

dropship

Know when to Surcharge and Discount

Adding discounts and surcharges is a simple way to account for fees that are not automatically reflected in the rates pulled from your live carriers, handling additional charges that apply to select products, and reflecting negotiated rates.

Many times merchants need to add padding, dry-ice or other material to boxes which adds to the box weight and in turn increases the amount you are charged to ship certain items. This is where you should apply surcharges to the rates you show at checkout, so you are covering all costs for shipments. This can also be useful for international shipments that have duties and fees attached to the delivery cost.

To avoid overcharging customers who do not fall within these categories, you will want to ensure you have rules in place that allow you to only charge surcharges on certain items, when certain boxes are used, or for deliveries that ship to certain locations.

In contrast, you may find that you need to apply discounts to your rates. Discounts can allow you to provide more attractive shipping or reflect negotiated rates from the carrier. This way you are not overcharging for rates and can even build some of the shipping price into the product’s cost.

Make use out of Date & Time

Date & Time is a great tool for merchants who sell perishable goods, products that can only ship in specific boxes,
hazardous materials or products with regional restrictions such as Alcohol. Imagine not only having the ability to show your customers when they can expect their package, but having the power to control the max time in transit for groups of products that have time sensitive shipping requirements.

Date & Time includes time in transit and estimated delivery date which makes it easy for merchants selling perishables to only charge their customers for expedited services when it is necessary. If you have a customer in the area that can get a ground shipment within 2 days and this is within the maximum allowed time in transit,  you can allow them to use the cheaper/slower shipping service.

Or, on the other hand, you can hide the slower, ground option from your customers that reside outside of a specified area; this way you don’t have customers choosing the slower services when they really need the faster and more expensive options.

date-time-calendar-@3xDate & Time also give you the ability to up sell your expedited shipping options and provide transparency to your customers. As we get closer certain holidays you will find that many customers are more likely to shop from sites that show when their order with arrive.

Taking Back Control

Now it is time to pull this all together, develop your shipping strategy and find a solution that fits your business’ unique needs. Whether you are looking to take action on one or all of the above, you should do your research so you fully understand how you want to ship. Consider what options you should or shouldn’t be using based on your customers’ needs along with your own and imagine how you want those carriers to look at checkout.

I would recommend investing in a Shipping Rate Management Software like ShipperHQ when you decide it is time to execute your shipping strategy. This type of software can be tailored to fit the needs of businesses small to large and will help to simplify various shipping barriers. With this solution, you can show the options you want and decide who can see them and when. It is intelligent enough to calculate the most economical box choices based on your product size and boxes you use, and reflects the shipping rules you put into place. Talk to our team to see how you can get more accurate rates and options.

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