After a year of landmark growth for ecommerce – around 40% in 2020 – online sellers are under pressure to produce equally impressive results in 2021. A key step to improving conversions in 2021 lies within the checkout process, and the shipping strategy behind it. ShipperHQ can help retailers improve their checkout experience with one powerful integration. Here’s how.
In 2021, consumer expectations of ecommerce experiences are sky-high. The Amazon Effect has hit hard, and continues to drill deeper into the consumer psyche. It’s also what’s driving higher demand for fast, free, transparent shipping. Beyond the expectation for fast and free shipping, customers now want to see clear delivery details just like Amazon provides.
While frustrating for many, The Amazon Effect has also played a major role in pushing the ecommerce industry forward. As smaller retailers race to match – and exceed – Amazon’s offering, they find new ways to innovate and optimize their experiences.
When it comes to checkout optimization, many retailers find that their ecommerce platform’s native functionality doesn’t include the features they need. With little opportunity for customization within checkout, most retailers focus their shipping optimization efforts on the post-purchase phase. Fortunately for retailers, there’s a better option for shipping customization, right within your checkout.
ShipperHQ is the all-in-one shipping rate management platform that lets retailers create and optimize a shipping strategy that’s tailor-made for their store, their business goals, and their customers. With powerful features that include custom rates on every order, delivery date and time display, turnkey in-store pickup, dimensional shipping and more, it’s the ultimate tool to turn shipping into a valuable conversion-driver.
Retailers can try ShipperHQ any time for a full 30 days, with no commitment required – not even a credit card. Here are the top three reasons to give ShipperHQ a shot for a month.
Reason 1: Improved Accuracy Means Losing Less Money on Shipping
Retailers who use table rates for shipping, or flat shipping rates, are almost always charging too much or too little. These blanket rates can result in customers paying too much for shipping, potentially lowering conversion rates at checkout. But they often result in customers underpaying as well.
Without the ability to know exactly what a shipment will cost, the retailer is unable to charge the customer the correct amount. This leaves retailers with the bill, sucking up revenue and stifling growth. These ShipperHQ features can help you charge more accurate rates:
- Shipping Rules – The bread and butter of the ShipperHQ platform are Shipping Rules. These are filters you can create yourself that impact what shipping methods are shown at checkout, what rates are shown, and more. Create rules for just about anything – offer free or discounted shipping on certain products or categories, require certain products to ship overnight (think perishables), add a surcharge to oversized products, and so much more. Shipping Rules are in your control, and can be applied and changed at any time, right in the dashboard.
- Live Rates for Parcel and Freight – Calculate accurate shipping dates in real time from parcel carriers like UPS and Fedex, or pull live rates for larger shipments from LTL freight carriers. Quotes are pulled directly from carriers, and account for factors including origin and destination, product and packaging weight and dimensions, shipping method and any relevant add-ons like a residential delivery surcharge.
- Dimensional Packing – Because carriers rely on dimensional weight, packages that are rated based on dimensions or weight alone aren’t always accurate. Dimensional weight is a simple calculation that creates a “billable” weight for a package. This is often different from its actual weight, to account for both the dimensions and weight of the package. ShipperHQ Dimensional Packing also includes a “Best Fit” packing algorithm that automates package selection for every order, improving rating accuracy even further.
- Address Validation – Customers sometimes mistakenly list a residential address as a commercial one or vice versa. This can cause issues at delivery. Carriers may attempt to deliver packages past business hours, or charge an additional residential surcharge fee after the customer has already paid for their order. ShipperHQ’s Address Type Validation feature automatically compares address type data to confirm it’s entered correctly.
Reason 2: Automation Speeds Up Fulfillment Processes
While each of the features above provides a major advantage in your shipping strategy, it’s the hands-off functionality that truly makes the difference. Validating addresses individually, calculating dimensional rates instantly, and manually calling around for quotes takes time, but with ShipperHQ you can do this all automatically via a single shipping solution.
- Dimensional Packing – Dimensional packing means your shipping rates will be calculated not on the actual weight of a package, but on the billable weight. This is important because it’s what carriers are charging retailers to ship packages, so those rates can be passed on to customers. But this powerful feature does more than identify dimensional weight. It can also be used to apply packing rules to shipments. Packing rules can be simple or complex. For example, a retailer could create packing rules that limit the amount of weight in each box. Or, they might create rules that all small items (e.g.: stickers, enamel pins) ship in the same box up to a certain weight. This allows you to create more consistent and efficient fulfillment processes.
- Multi-Origin Shipping – For retailers with more than one fulfillment location, it’s important to be able to ship out of the most efficient place. This allows you to keep rates low and send shipments out fast. With Multi-Origin Shipping, each item in an order can ship from the closest fulfillment center to a customer’s addresses, or the fewest number of shipping locations.
- Backup Carriers – During those inevitable times of chaotic carrier outages, retailers need to have a plan in place to continue accepting and fulfilling orders. With Backup Carriers, retailers can configure rates and methods from additional carriers outside their primary carrier. Retailers can also opt to configure their shipping options with more than one carrier all the time. This creates a diversified, outage-proof solution.
Reason 3: Transparency + Choice
Customers want the smoothest, most customized shopping experience possible. With ShipperHQ’s tools for creating a clear, customer-focused shipping experience, you can give them just that.
- Delivery Date & Time – One of the most prominent ripples of The Amazon Effect is the shift toward delivery dates (“Delivers Feb. 15”), rather than delivery timeframes (“Delivers Feb. 15-18”). While 82% of shoppers say they’d rather shop at a store that shows delivery dates, 44% would actually pay more for this feature. Currently, just 40% of online stores show delivery dates. This marks a significant opportunity for retailers to earn the business of shoppers eager for transparent delivery information. Retailers can take delivery customization a step further by enabling the Calendar date picker feature. This allows a customer to choose a delivery date and find the corresponding rate. Maximize customization even more with time slot delivery, which allows customers to select from a pre-populated list of timeframes on a given day to receive their order.
- Curbside, In-Store and Alternate Pickup – Offering customer-centric shipping options is a wise business move. Offering those same customers different pickup options elevates your business even further. With ShipperHQ’s In-Store Pickup feature, retailers can easily pivot to offer either curbside or in-store pickup. More than 45% of online shoppers say they’d prefer to pick up orders from local retailers rather than having an order shipped. This means that in 2021, it’s vital to invest in solutions that keep convenience front in center.
The Bottom Line: We’re shipping experts so you don’t have to be
Ecommerce retailers might feel like they need to be a jack-of-all-trades to effectively optimize each aspect of their business. Luckily, when it comes to shipping, the expertise can be easily outsourced.
Beyond our comprehensive platform, ShipperHQ also offers account setup services so retailers can maximize their shipping strategy. With award-winning priority support and thousands of happy customers (dating way back to 2008), ShipperHQ provides both the tools and advice to help retailers create a masterful, conversion-driving shipping experience at checkout.