Category Archives: Shipping

PreImagine 2017 Sponsor Spotlight: MageMojo

Author: Ashley Overton  |  April 1, 2017

MageMojo built their hosting company specifically and only to host Magento stores. They specialize in doing one thing and doing it really well so they are able to offer faster performance, deeper support, and lower prices. “We’re making Magento great again!” says Eric Hileman, Co-Founder of MageMojo.

The MageMojMageMojoo team has been a part of the Magento community since 2009. In addition to providing the community with great service, they are very active in showing their support. This will be their second year attending and sponsoring PreImagine and they are also organizing Meet Magento NY this year and plan on going big!

Eric sheds some light on what it’s like to be both a guest and sponsor at PreImagine and how to get the most out of your evening there:

Why did MageMojo decide to sponsor PreImagine this year? 

We love to support community events in Vegas, especially since the Wynn is expensive.  PreImagine needs all the support it can get in order to put on a great event (and open up that bar!).

How would you describe your past PreImagine experiences?

As a sponsor Good! ★★★★☆

As a guest Excellent! ★★★★★

What is your favorite memory from past PreImagines?

Favorite memory was thinking how beautiful it was out there on the Sunset Terrace in the evening surrounded by Magento community members from all over the world.  That was the first time we’d seen people whom we’d only known from their twitter profiles, IRL.  It was a feeling of inspiration that really energized us for the next couple days.

What are you looking forward to most this year?

We’re looking forward most to spreading the word about the Magento Security Council we co-founded and the free malware scanner the Council put out.  We’re also giving free 3 month memberships to Nomad Mage for continuous learning.  Spreading education about security while also learning from our Peers is exciting!  We’re ready to collaborate on more initiatives with other community members!

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

PreImagine is the eye of the hurricane. Everyone is crazy busy leading up to Imagine.  We all arrive in Las Vegas and have that one day where everything is calm.  PreImagine sits in that calm window and gives everyone a chance to take a breath, say Hello to old friends, and relax for a little while before the whirlwind begins again Monday.

Do you have any advice for first time attendees? 

There’s no need to be shy. Find the people you recognize from twitter, stackoverflow, etc, just walk up and introduce yourself.  We’re all here for the same reason and you’ll find you have a lot in common with everyone, if you open up!

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2016 Holiday Shipping Cutoff Dates

Author: Ashley Overton  |  November 1, 2016

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With the Holiday Season quickly approaching, it is crucial to ensure your customers get their orders on time. Although it may happen more often than we like to admit, there is nothing worse than waiting until the last minute to ship out a gift and having to face the task of ensuring the order makes it to its destination in time. To keep your holidays bright and to relieve some of the stress, we have put together a quick summary of the shipping cut-off dates for some of the major carriers. You will find it extremely helpful to stay on top of current cut-off dates for all carriers you plan to use. Below you can find the 2016 holiday shipping dates and news.

UPS

With eCommerce making a rapid increase, it’s important to stay on top of the new deadlines this Holiday Season.  The UPS year-end holiday schedule starts in November and makes its way to the end of December. You can download and print the schedule from the site to ensure easy access. Here is 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 19th US Domestic shipments only
UPS 2nd Day Air December 21st 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. 21st 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 is anticipating a record-breaking peak holiday shipping season this year, and has gone as far as hiring an additional 500 employees to cover the rush. They have advised that you take note of Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, which makes losing track of shipping deadlines even more detrimental. Luckily, they offer FedEx SameDay which is available every day of the year. FedEx also offers 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. 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 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

Although USPS encourages holiday shoppers to ship as early as possible, they have gone ahead and provided a list of shipping deadlines just in case you are faced with last minute shopping. They have provided the mail-by-dates for all their domestic and international services. Below you will find a quick summary of some of their services.

Service Ship By Notes
Standard Post December 15th US Domestic shipments only
First Class Mail December 20th US Domestic shipments only
Priority Mail December 21st US Domestic shipments only
Priority Mail Express December 23rd US Domestic shipments only

As we hope you find this helpful to your holiday shipping, our summaries should only serve as an outline for you shipping management this season. We have provided information for some of the major carriers, but you should keep up to date with restrictions and options from other carrier you wish to use as well. You can find helpful information by visiting the carrier’s website or you can contact your carrier representative with specific questions.

 

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International Express Shipping Strategy for The Holiday Season

Author: Pompey Mansilla  |  September 26, 2016

Holiday Shipping

The holidays are coming near which means it is time to start thinking about what changes you may need to make in order to keep your international customers happy. So, we have invited Pompey Mansilla, Co-Founder of ILS, to share advice on how to put an effective International shipping strategy in place for the holiday season. 


Summer: suntan lotion, palm trees, and an ocean breeze are now behind us.  Gone are the days when school started after Labor Day; kids are already back in school and Halloween is fast approaching, which can only mean that The Holidays are right around the corner.

Internationally, August is the biggest vacation month and now everyone globally is preparing for The Season.

E-COMMERCE IS E-SSENTIAL

Already accounting for nearly 10% of global retail sales, e-commerce has become a critical component to global commerce.

In 2015 alone, more than half the world’s mobile phone-owning population accessed the web. And that figure is forecast to steadily climb. Many of those people will not just access the web for information or send emails or engage in social media. Instead they virtual window-shop and eventually purchase products.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM ACTUAL SMEs

  • Starting small is the approach Sarah Davis, owner of Fashionphile, recommends.  She started selling eBay and today does more than $15M in annual revenue, with 30% of her sales coming from international buyers.  Her advice:

“Just sell one item internationally. EBay and PayPal allow you to put your toe in the water and get used to selling internationally, and them amp up from there.”

  • “We do ship internationally!  We do also charge for international shipping for orders under 300$. However, I would say that it is currently a pain-point for us because we aren’t able to deliver 100% the quality of shipping service for our international customers like we are for our domestic ones. Example: We are unfortunately unable to generate free return labels for our international customers. Following tracking is more difficult because of dual tracking numbers (one while in the US / one internationally). You have less control over the shipment, etc., etc. It’s another thing on the list of “need to solves”

     Darby – Owner Smoke Cartel

RESEARCH DEMANDS FOR YOUR PRODUCT AND LOCAL BUYING TRENDS

A helpful resource is PayPal’s PassPort site, which has a wealth of information about global buying trends for specific countries. For instance, PassPort breaks down, by country, the top shopping categories, how often shoppers purchase from countries like the US, their buying motivations and potential barriers. It also summarizes local customs, trends, taboos and even holidays of each country – so you sell the right products to the right customers, marketed in the right way.

Grey November, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are nearly here, and businesses are already placing their holiday marketing plans into high gear. Specials and promotions, as well as creative discounts are just about lined up.  Unique seasonal partnerships are ready for launch.  At the same time, companies are addressing the key challenges that stem from higher volumes of store and site visitors, training seasonal staff, testing website infrastructure and coordinating with suppliers.

Both online retailers and brick-and-mortar operations are also taking a hard look at another element that will be critical to their overall success: shipping and logistics.

Just how active is the world of shipping during the holiday season?  Consider these numbers: at DHL Express, during the 2015 peak season (the Monday after Thanksgiving until Christmas) delivery volumes were 41% higher than the average daily volume in our third quarter, and 25% higher than peak season in 2014.

To ensure your company can survive the peak holiday season and literally deliver on what your customers have ordered – on time, on target, and in one piece – you’ll want to have a clear shipping strategy in place.

The best way to develop an efficient, cost-effective and reliable shipping strategy is to work with an experienced shipping and logistics partner who understands high-volume planning.  If you operate globally, you will want to make sure that your international shipping process in particular can handle increased demand. 

In addition to finding the right shipping partner, retailers want to ensure you clearly display estimated delivery dates and ordering cutoff dates for Christmas delivery.

  • All DHL services are time definite and offer you secure door-to-door delivery service of goods and documents to and from virtually every country in the world. Whether you need your shipments delivered early morning or by the end of the working day, our services offer full track-and-trace visibility so you always know where your shipments are.
  • ShipperHQ, the ultimate shipping rate management solution, has partnered with International Logistics Solutions (ILS) to make international shipping simpler and more cost-effective for small to medium sized merchants.
  • As an Authorized DHL Agent, ILS gives US merchants access to DHL Express services while offering them lower rates and excellent customer service from international shipping specialists. With DHL Express, merchants have the ability to delight their customers and raise their brand image with a one to three day transit to almost anywhere in the world with full door to door tracking.

You can set up an ILS Account and speak to a representative to learn more about ShipperHQ and ILS combined.


 

About the Author

LINKEDINPICTURE Pompey Mansilla is the co-founder of 2 companies within the DHL Express Network, along with his partner, Rick Betancourt.  International Logistics Solutions is an Authorized Reseller specializing in international shipments from 1-400#.

In addition, Direct Hit Logistics provides pick-up and delivery service for DHL Express with over 400 routes in the Southeastern United States.  They are the largest representative of DHL Express in the country, from a combined sales and operational platform.

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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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