Category Archives: Shipping

Store Pickup Functionality is Now Available Magento 2

Author: Ashley Overton  |  July 21, 2016

We announced the release of ShipperHQ for Magento 2 at the beginning of this year and our customer growth on Magento 2 is constantly rising. To keep up with the demands of our customers, we are continuously moving ShipperHQ’s feature set forward. We are proud to announce that we have recently added Store Pickup to the list of advanced features available on Magento 2 so users can easily show pickup locations at checkout.

Why You Should Add Store Pickup to Your Checkout

We live in the time where everything is “Googled.” I am just as guilty as anyone when I say our generation will search the web for anything from cooking recipes to how to fix a car or fly a plane. Customers now want access to more information before they make a purchase or venture to the store. In addition to information, they are keen to look for savings and quick service. So why not give them what they want and add the convenience of Store Pickup to your checkout?

Cost

Customers love discounts and this is a great alternative to offering free shipping without having to cover the costs. According to a survey from eFulliment Service, close to 70 percent of respondents said they prefer cheaper shipping over fast shipping. By adding Store Pickup to your checkout, you and your customers can avoid the cost of shipping. They have the ability to reserve their products online and pick them up at their own convenience. This way you seal the deal before they even enter the store!

Convenience

Store Pickup can help you keep your customers satisfied. It allows your customers to check the availability of products. This way they aren’t faced with the disappointment of finding that the item is only available in one of your stores 50 miles away or online after they have already reached the store. If they find that the item is not available in a nearby store they then have the option to have it shipped to their house, request to have it shipped to the store for pickup, or they can have someone else pick it up for them at another location.

Research

Although they may end up buying the item in store over purchasing directly online, having products (even those only found in store) available for research is beneficial to your customers. This gives them the opportunity to read reviews from other customers and find detailed information on the products. This also ties into convenience as the can do all of this from the comfort of their home.

Store Pickup in ShipperHQ

ShipperHQ allows merchants to offer more to their customers while having the ability to add restrictions, discounts and surcharges to options shown at checkout. With the Store Pickup feature you have the ability to delight your customers with the opportunity to save money at checkout.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.00.12

The Store Pickup feature allows you to set as many locations as you want for pickup. You then have the ability to sort those locations by distance from the customer and set your account to only show locations that are within a certain distance. This feature has been available to our customer on Magento 1 and is now available to those on Magento 2.

Contact us for more information on Store Pickup and ShipperHQ!

 

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Simplifying your Checkout with Rate Shopping

Author: Ashley Overton  |  July 19, 2016

Customers expect a simple checkout process. They have found the items they want to purchase and want to complete the order with as little confusion and minimal steps. If you are a merchant that uses many carriers and have many shipping methods available, you are probably showing a long daunting list of options at checkout.

Simplify your Checkout

8cER7GLcaIf you use multiple carriers such as UPS and FedEx, you will find that many of their methods have similar transit times that differ in price. The ground option for UPS may be cheaper than the comparable transit option for FedEx. If your customers know they will get the shipment in the same amount of time for less they will most likely choose that option, so showing both could be a distraction and a point of confusion. With Rate Shopping you can take the pressure off your customers by only showing them what they want to see; the lowest prices!

Why is this important?

We have already established that your customers will have less options to choose from, but why is this important?

One of the top reasons for cart abandonment are unexpected costs at checkout. According to a study by North American Technographics, 44% of cart abandonment came from customers who found that shipping and handling costs were too high and 11% found the checkout process to be too long or confusing. So it is important to do your best to make this process as easy as possible so you can close the deal; and by showing the lowest rates every time, you can keep your customers happy and coming back.

This is especially important for B2C merchants as B2B consumers may want to see their preferred carrier at checkout even if that means they are faced with many options at checkout.  

How it works in ShipperHQ

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 14.23.09Taking control over the options you show to your customers at checkout is what ShipperHQ is all about. Our Rate Shopping feature takes that control to the next level by allowing you to simplify what you show at checkout. Customers on all of our supported platforms can add Rate Shopping to their list of Advanced Features in ShipperHQ.

ShipperHQ will take the shipping method you use and compare the rates so only the cheapest rate is shown with the custom name you have given to that option. This way your customers are still aware that they are using the ground or standard shipping, but aren’t faced with the task of comparing and choosing each method. Rate shopping allows your customers to experience a quick and easy checkout.

 

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International Shipping Made easy with DHL Express via ILS

Author: Ashley Overton  |  June 28, 2016

We have announced a new partnership with ILS that gives our customers a better experience with international shipping. International shipping is currently on the rise and customers now expect access to products no matter where they originate.  According to a study by The Paypers, “70% of global ecommerce experts agree that selling cross-border has proven to be profitable.” To keep up with your customers demands and ahead of the competition it is essential that you are offering competitive shipping options to both your domestic and international customers.

stock-photo-88950421-media-app-icons-flying-around-globe-on-tablet-computerDHL Express is an international express mail service provider with operations in 225 countries. As an authorized DHL Agent, ILS makes these services more accessible to its merchants and works to help small to medium sized business open their doors to the global market. Although the words Boutique and VIP are usually associated with high price points, DHL Express and ILS brings you high-performance expedited international shipping
options while also delivering an unparalleled customer care experience.


What DHL Express and ILS bring to merchants on ShipperHQ

  • One to three day transit to anywhere in the world
  • Peace of mind with live, door to door tracking updates
  • Certified International Specialist that are here to answer any of your shipping questions

At ShipperHQ, we work to put partnerships in place with outstanding companies that share the desire to make your customers shopping experience enjoyable. Both ShipperHQ and ILS believe in helping our merchants stay ahead of the curve by giving them the tools they need to easily move their businesses forward.  And both companies understand that an excellent shopping experience has to include great shipping options.

You can easily add DHL Express via ILS to your ShipperHQ account by signing up for an ILS account and setting up “ILS DHL” as a carrier in your ShipperHQ. Contact us to learn more about how you can get discounted rates through ILS or how to get started with ShipperHQ.

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UPS Security Update – A review of action required

Author: wsagen  |  May 11, 2016

Management Summary

  • UPS are upgrading their required security protocols – you won’t be able to use their API services unless you comply
  • There is no firm date for when this will be enforced, it was originally planned for May 31st 2016
  • If you are a Magento user, below we include some things you can check and verify to ensure you will meet these requirements
  • If you are a ShipperHQ user, no action is required on your part

Deeper Information

UPS have a detailed plan to upgrade their data security, as part of this plan they will be enforcing security protocols when you interact with their web services. To put it plainly, you’ll need to do some housekeeping if you are using Magento and any kind of UPS service.

Starting from May 31st 2016, UPS stated they will enforce TLS v1.2 on their web services and other online services like UPS.com, this has now been delayed with no firm date of when this enforcement will begin. This delay is a great opportunity for merchants and developers to get this requirement met and forget about it, well before it becomes a headache.

If you are using any of the following:

  • Magento’s built-in UPS shipping carrier
  • Any of the following WebShopApps stand alone UPS extensions:
    • UPS Date Shipping
    • UPS Calendar
    • Delivery Options for UPS
    • UPS Zones
    • UPS Freight
    • Dimensional Shipping
    • Address Validation via UPS
  • Any other UPS integration from a third party that accesses UPS via XML web services

There is no upgrade required to your code or Magento system. You’ll need to verify with your host the version of TLS that your server supports – some things to review are

  1. Check the version of OpenSSL is v1.0.1 or higher
  2. Check the version of cURL you have, v7.34 or higher will include TLS v1.2
  3. TLS v1.2 is enabled with your version of cURL

ShipperHQ customers will not need to take any action as we have already verified that our interactions with UPS including live rates, freight and address validation will meet their updated security requirements.

ShipperHQ.com. Come talk to us. Your cart, your shipping, your rules.

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USPS Price Increase and API Update – January 17, 2016

Author: wsagen  |  January 12, 2016

USPS is releasing an update to their API and price increases on January 17, 2016.

What are the changes?

There are price increases to many services across both retail and commercial base pricing including Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and First Class Parcel (international). In some cases there is a significant price increase. See the USPS press release for more details, or take a look at the USPS 2016 Price Change video by our partner Pitney Bowes.

ShipperHQ will automatically show these price increases when they are rolled out on January 17, 2016.

The API update also includes

  • Renaming Standard Post to Retail Ground
  • Removal of several flat rate box services

These changes will automatically be rolled into ShipperHQ and no action is required by merchants.

Will I be affected?

I’m using Magento’s built-in USPS carrier

If you are using standard Magento USPS carrier and your Magento Community Edition version is 1.7.x or below,  your customers will no longer see USPS Standard Post rates. To resolve this you will need to download the updated USPS patch extension.

Users of Magento Enterprise Edition version 1.13.x and below will also not be able to see rates for Standard Post service, please contact Magento for the recommended course of action.

If you are using Magento Community Edition version 1.8.x and above or Magento Enterprise Edition version 1.14.x and above, no action is required to see the newly named USPS Retail Ground rates.

I’m using a WebShopApps extension to get my USPS rates

If you are a WebShopApps customer we’ve also updated our extensions for

  • WebShopApps Dimensional Shipping
  • WebShopApps USPS via Endicia

You can contact us for an upgraded version of your extension (charges may apply if you are outside of your support period).

I use ShipperHQ to manage my rates

You don’t need to do anything. ShipperHQ will automatically show these prices increases when they are rolled out on January 17th, 2016.

How can I reduce my shipping prices?

Within ShipperHQ we support rate shopping. We have many customers that utilize this to compare live carrier rates automatically in the cart, presenting the cheapest options to the customer.  Talk to us for further information and a no-obligation 30-day free trial.

 

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Fedex Service Outage – January 16, 2016

Author: wsagen  |  January 11, 2016

FedEx has advised there will be a service outage on their live API on Saturday, January 16th from 9:00 pm CT until Sunday, January 17th 12:01 am CT (total duration 3 hours).

Will I be affected?

This will affect:

  • All Magento merchants using live Fedex rates
  • Customers of ShipperHQ using Fedex rates (including FedEx Freight)
  • Merchants using WebShopApps Freight extension for FedEx Freight rates
  • Creation of shipment labels and tracking using the standard Magento FedEx carrier

You may not be able to receive shipping rates from FedEx during this time. If FedEx is your only available shipping method, customers may not be able to checkout during this time if you do not take any action.

What should I do?

For merchants using ShipperHQ, you should configure a backup carrier for any live rate FedEx carriers you have.

Backup carrier

Once the service outage of FedEx API is over, FedEx rates will be returned without any further action required from you (the merchant). You should leave this backup carrier configured in case of any future unexpected FedEx service outages.

ShipperHQ.com. Come talk to us. Your cart, your shipping, your rules.

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I want it now! The importance of timely shipping rates

Author: Karen Baker  |  December 2, 2015

A Story

It’s the week before Christmas. Life is busy.  That great train set you had safely tucked away on the sleigh since November, well your son just informed you that trains are old news and he really wants a drone.

So now what?

You could argue give him the train 😉

Or you go buy a drone.  But its 1 week to go.  Do you go to the website that says this?

 

 

or this (please ignore my bad dec box, its late, I want to sleep tonight!):

 

The answer should be obvious.  You will go with the one that guarantees delivery.  In fact you would probably pay more to get it guaranteed on a certain day, the free shipping really is irrelevant at this point – YOU NEED THE DRONE.

Time in Transit

The benefits to displaying the time of delivery, the transit time, or for perishables/flowers/etc giving the customer an actual calendar to pick a date (and potentially a time slot) is pretty obvious.  The reality is that most eCommerce carts by default do not offer this option to customers. Furthermore many of you may be aware that if you order say ‘Overnight’ that doesn’t mean tomorrow its on your doorstep. You may have missed their cut-off window for the day, it might take a day to get the goods out, or it might be Friday, in which case Monday is the earliest (assuming its not Home Delivery FedEx which never delivers on a Monday!).

Perishables

Selling cupcakes & birthday cakes?  We see a ton of stores that just offer In-Store Pickup here because they say they can’t ship it.  Well they can, but only in the 1-day timeframe.  Or worse they offer shipping everywhere then have to cancel orders with customers when its outside their area. They can’t offer non-perishables as its all confusing then, some can ship, some cant, etc etc.

Up-selling Shipping

It’s important to look at the up-sell possible on shipping which can be gained with Time in Transit.  Customers in general are going to pay to get stuff faster.  So you may lose money on say a free shipping promotion over $40 of goods, but if you incentivize them to purchase Next Day or 2 Day then overall you can come out with a win. Especially if you add a little percentage cushion on that Next Day delivery to give you a bit of profit.  Here is a great example of how one store holds back their produce if you need it shipping free.

Same Day Delivery

People want things fast, Amazon is keying into this with Same-Day delivery in many key cities, and online merchants with their own stores need to step up. At ShipperHQ we see the advance of services such as Postmates/UberRUSH/Roadie really changing the online landscape in the next 12-18months for retailers, if you are in NY you can readily serve that local market within hours. What with the desire of customers to ‘shop local & shop niche’ we believe it provides good opportunity for merchants to take on the likes of Amazon.

In fact same-day delivery has been around a little while, we have had stores offer this loading up a custom set of table rates to serve customers.

How do I solve this?

ShipperHQ.com. Come talk to us. Your cart, your shipping, your rules.

 

 

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Shipping During the Holiday Season

Author: Ashley Overton  |  October 7, 2015

ribbon

As the holiday season is coming near, shipping becomes more of a priority for merchants and their customers. With the craze of holiday shopping comes the stress of meeting shipping deadlines. Changes to holiday shipping calendars have been made for this year’s holiday season, so it will be extremely helpful to stay on top of current cut-off dates for all carriers you plan to use. Below you can find the 2015 holiday shipping dates and news.

UPS

Changes around time in transit have been put in place to this year’s UPS Holiday schedule. It is important to stay updated on these new deadlines to ensure that you are receiving accurate time in transit responses and are shipping in a timely manner. Ship by dates have been posted by UPS, here is a summery of some upcoming cut off dates.

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 22st US Domestic shipments only, some limitations in Alaska and Hawaii
UPS Next Day Air December 23rd US Domestic shipments only, some limitations in Alaska and Hawaii

* Between Nov. 23 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 offeres a Get Rates and Transit Times application to their customers so they can easily find the FedEx delivery option that will get their shipment to its destination in time. You should also note that FedEx SameDay is available every day of the year for your most urgent shipments. But, if you are looking to avoid the rush, we have listed the last days to ship your packages so they arrive on or before December 25th below.

Service Ship By Notes
FedEx Home Delivery & FedEx Ground December 16th US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx Express Saver December 21st US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx 2 Day December 22nd US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx Standard Overnight December 23rd US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx SameDay December 25th US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico

USPS

USPS encourages holiday shoppers to ship early, but we all know that that is easier said than done. So, the Postal Service also helps its customers with last minute shipping by providing the mail-by dates that will get your shipment where it needs to be by December 25th.

Service Ship By Notes
Standard Post December 15th US Domestic shipments only
First Class Mail December 19th US Domestic shipments only
Priority Mail December 21st US Domestic shipments only
Priority Mail Express December 23rd US Domestic shipments only

Although we have provided cut off dates for some of the major carriers, it is also important to keep up to date with restrictions and options from other carriers you wish to use by visiting their website or speaking with your carrier representative for more information.

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2014 Holiday Shipping Cut-Off Dates

Author: Daniel Ziegler  |  November 20, 2014

2014_holiday_shipping_header
Carriers are bulking up on staff and resources for the holidays and are expecting a significant increase in traffic over last year. As we near the holiday season, it’s time for the rest of us to ensure that we have the information and resources we need to meet demand. In that spirit, here’s our roundup of 2014 Holiday Cut-Off dates for the big three carriers in the US.

UPS

With UPS expecting an 11% increase in volume over the Christmas 2014 season, it’ll be more important than ever to make sure your packages are shipped early enough to get to your customers in time. UPS has published their ship by dates for 2014, here’s a summary for the most frequently used UPS services.

Service Ship By Notes
UPS Ground December 15th US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Hawaii
UPS 3 Day Select December 18th US Domestic shipments only
UPS 2nd Day Air December 22nd US Domestic shipments only, some limitations in Alaska and Hawaii
UPS Next Day Air December 23rd US Domestic shipments only, some limitations in Alaska and Hawaii
UPS Express Critical December 24th US Domestic shipments only, excludes Alaska and Hawaii

FedEx

FedEx expects an increase of 8.8% in volume this Christmas. They’ve outlined all of the cut-off dates for their services on their website and we’ve summarized the most popular services here.

Service Ship By Notes
FedEx Home Delivery & FedEx Ground December 17th US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx Express Saver December 20th US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx 2 Day December 22nd US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx Standard Overnight December 23rd US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico
FedEx SameDay December 25th US Domestic shipments only, excludes Puerto Rico

USPS

Of the big three carriers, USPS predicts the largest increase with an estimate of 14% higher volume this holiday season over last year. All the details are on USPS.com but we’ve summarized the most important information below.

Service Ship By Notes
Standard Post December 15th US Domestic shipments only
First Class Mail & Priority Mail December 20th US Domestic shipments only
Priority Mail Express December 23rd US Domestic shipments only

Conclusion

While we’ve summarized the most popular services from the most popular carriers above, it’s important that you make yourself familiar with the options and restrictions available from your carrier of choice and get in touch with your carrier representative or check their website for more information. If you have general questions about eCommerce shipping or ShipperHQ, feel free to reach out to us.

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Shipping Game Changers: Same Day Shipping

Author: Daniel Ziegler  |  October 29, 2014

We may be biased, but we’re convinced that eCommerce shipping is one of the most exciting and fastest-paced areas of innovation in eCommerce today. New shipping services, refinements on existing ideas, and exciting future possibilities open up almost daily. ShipperHQ exists to make these services, ideas, and possibilities a reality for merchants without the headaches and costs that often come along with being at the cutting edge. While there are a myriad of shipping services available to customers today, a new option is poised to make waves.

Comparison of Standard Carriers and Same Day Couriers

Modern Same Day Shipping is a reimagining of the oldest type of delivery service. In the good old days, you’d hire a guy with a wagon (or van in more recent years) who happened to be heading the right direction to pick goods up at your store and carry them to your customer. Now, internet and mobile technology allow for instant booking of deliveries with couriers across the country. All you have to do is book a delivery and a professional courier with a smart phone and a car shows up at your store in minutes ready to help.

So, what’s coming down the road (literally and figuratively!) for Same Day Shipping?

Read more about Same Day Shipping in our full blog post at WebShopApps.com…

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