This week in the world of shipping and eCommerce…

In this weeks round up of the latest shipping and eCommerce news and tips, we’re tackling the latest trend of social shopping and go over a few tips on how you can reduce returns.

Instagram launches shopping checkout, charging sellers a fee

The news was everywhere this week about Instagram’s new in-app checkout feature.

While currently available for select brands like Nike and H&M, the “Checkout with Instagram” program allows users to store their payment info in the Instagram app. Now, customers won’t have to link off to a brand’s website.

Merchants will be charged an undisclosed fee for the service and in return will receive the order and shipping details.


ShipperHQ Takeaway:

There are some downsides for merchants – mainly the fee and not being able to capture as much data at checkout. Not controlling the checkout experience limits cross-sell opportunities and complex shipping capabilities. However, the Instagram checkout feature could be useful for quick fire promotions/flash sales.

Most retailers weren’t surprised by Instagram’s new checkout feature. It’s part of a growing trend that merges a consumers social media obsession with online shopping.

Shopping used to be seen as a leisure activity, but now going to a store feels like a chore. Instagram’s checkout feature makes shopping a leisure activity for the social media generation.


ShipperHQ Takeaway:

While you can debate if integrating with social checkout is a good fit for your business, it’s undeniable that social media marketing is playing a larger role in driving purchases.  Social, especially video, enables brand building and performance marketing. If you haven’t taken a deep dive into your social strategy, you’ll want to add that to your list of 2019 priorities.

How to reduce cancellation and return rates of ecommerce orders

Canceled orders and returns can eat away at your bottom line. To reduce your return and cancelation rates, consider adopting these best practices:

  • Provide clear product descriptions and images
  • Manage your inventory to avoid out-of-stock delays
  • Partner with a shipping platform to provide maximum options
  • Validate the shipping address
  • Provide buyers with order and shipping updates


ShipperHQ Takeaway:

Communication is key is avoiding shipping problems. Ecommerce merchants must manage and meet customers expectations with end-to-end visibility throughout the whole shipping and delivery process. For more tips, check out our recent blog, Delivery 101: What Do Your Customers Want

UPS launches fulfillment platform for small and medium sellers

UPS is launching a new eFulfillment platform for small- and medium-sized businesses. The platform is geared for sellers on 21 online marketplaces, including Amazon and eBay.

The platform will allow companies to offer one, two and three-day delivery from a UPS warehouse in Kentucky or California.


ShipperHQ Takeaway:

Consumers now expect fast one or two-day shipping, but many small retailers lack the logistical resources to get orders processed and delivered that quickly. Services like UPS eFulfillment allows smaller businesses to stay competitive.

That’s it for this week round up. Check back next Friday for our latest must-reads on shipping and ecommerce. Want more? Check out last week’s roundup here.