While Alibaba and Amazon dominate the marketplace industry, it’s not just these two online giants that capture consumer dollars… and help strengthen the parcel business along the way. With a reported $1.55 trillion dollars spent in the top 75 marketplaces in 2017, it’s fair to say that the shipping business has been greatly influenced thanks to marketplace sales. As a result, marketplace sellers should review, react and ultimately respond to the dynamic impact shipping has on their company overhead. From packaging materials to capturing shipping analytics to gaining refunds from shippers such as UPS and FedEx when deserved, there is no shortage of ways for marketplace sellers to better control their parcel spend. To help, consider these three tips.
1. Invest in Analytics & Automation
The reality is that when it comes to saving time, increasing efficiency and reducing parcel spend, the human touch alone cannot accomplish these goals. The human touch combined with analytics and automation, however, makes for a powerful combination of precise business management. And when it comes to shipping, this is no exception.
For marketplace sellers, introducing analytics and automation into their shipping strategy is a great way to begin their process of reducing parcel spend. A starting point for companies who have yet to do this in any way should include a report based on their shipping history to help identify what their past and current needs, opportunities, weaknesses and more are – ultimately delivering clarity, improving internal accountability and helping companies make more informed decisions. To introduce this type of analysis of your shipping history, click here.
Once this report has been reviewed and is understood, welcoming automation into your shipping strategy is a natural next step. This automation can come in a variety of ways – but the main takeaway is you want to more easily capture and review shipping analytics in an effort to streamline parcel efforts while reducing parcel spend along the way. Trusted shipping resources – many of which provide automated services specific to online sellers – to consider for your business can be found here.
2. Review Your Packaging Process
From the materials you use to package inventory sold to the consideration of drop-ship options into your existing inventory management to automating your shipping process from start to finish, there are many options to consider when it comes to reducing time and reducing spend as part of your packaging process. To start, make sure you know your parcel size and weight then likewise, know what the rate differences are between the carriers you choose to ship with. These packaging details impact your bottom-line – plain and simple.
Additionally, consider the packaging materials you use. While their purpose is to safely secure items being shipped, also consider where you purchase them from, if you can buy them in bulk to reduce your costs and how you may be able to repurpose certain shipping materials such as boxes to reduce your total parcel spend. With 93% of online buyers saying shipping options is part of their purchase decision, you want to also consider how fast you can pick, pack and ship your goods. Reviewing this process is yet one more way to help streamline your shipping options – but also reduce your time and parcel spend.
3. Introduce an Auditing Service into Your Shipping Strategy
Let’s face it… you’re busy. But introducing a shipment auditing service takes very little time and yet gives you so much in return. More specifically, an auditing service gives you money back on shipments based on a review of over-charges, late deliveries, damaged packages and more from popular shipping carriers UPS and FedEx. The best part is that an auditing service charges a percent of refunds applied to your business – therefore costing you nothing upfront and yet giving you so much in return. This service is automated and easily managed, allowing you to do what you do best – sell, sell, sell – while allowing your parcel spend to get reduced along the way. Explore more about auditing services for online sellers here.
Finally, remember that when it comes to selling online you are only successful based on your profits. Make sure that identifying the right inventory, the right selling platforms, and the right shipping processes all help to contribute to your selling success!