SMBs Decrease Shipping Costs With Automation Platform
It’s hard for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to keep up with the likes of Amazon.com, especially when it comes to shipping. The e-commerce powerhouse is constantly shaking up the shipping industry — from standard two-day shipping for Prime members to delivering packages via drones to a new Uber-like app for its freight and delivery operations.
SMB retailers have to be savvy to compete. They usually don’t have an in-house person or team to handle the complexity of managing shipping carriers — something big-box retailers do. In addition, SMBs generally have a much smaller staff and budget to solve all the issues related to running an e-commerce business, for example, shipping solutions.
Wizard Industries, a home-based company that distributes products such as metal detectors, tool carts and stud finders, uses the ShipRush solution for its shipping needs. Here are three ways that the small online retailer is using ShipRush:
1. Remotely process orders: SMB retailers know the struggles of a small-team dynamic. To relieve some of these stresses, Wizard Industries has the ability to process orders remotely.
“You can be in any place with any device and you can login, process the orders, and print the packing list and shipping labels,” explains Billy Carmen, owner of Wizard Industries.
This can be done in bulk, making a once-tedious task quicker and easier to handle.
2. Rate shopping: Carmen is also able to determine the cheapest way to get packages to customers by using the rate dashboard feature of ShipRush.
“When we’re preparing orders,” explains Carmen, “it gives us the ability to rate shop between FedEx, UPS and USPS.”
ShipRush Product Manager Rafael Zimberoff says, “the rating landscape is very complicated” because UPS and FedEx rates change once a year, and USPS rates change anywhere form one time to three times per year. These changes usually happen in late December and early February. In 2017, the major carriers have increased rates anywhere from 3.9 percent to 4.9 percent. Also in 2017, fuel surcharges will now change week by week, rather than month by month.
In addition to comparing rates, Wizard Industries can compare shipping speeds of all the carriers using the rate dashboard.
“Priority Mail usually gets to the destination within a couple days, but some area codes might take longer,” says Carmen. “ShipRush gives us the speed and cost of what it will be for each individual carrier.”
3. Customer service: The rate-shopping feature, according to Carmen, helps Wizard Industries keep a “five star” customer rating on Amazon.com. Customers know an exact time frame for when they can expect their order as well as the cost associated with a package so there are no surprises.
“ShipRush also gives us the ability to very quickly pull up a customer and look up all the order information — like tracking,” explains Carmen.
For SMB retailers, the need for a streamlined, easy-to-use shipping solution will only increase with time. Forrester Research forecasts that U.S. e-commerce sales will reach $500 billion by 2020.
ShipRush, according to Zimberoff, assists SMB retailers by bringing warehouse-like automation into their shipping operations.