Welcome to the peak season – and to this special holiday series from Verst. Over the next 12 days, we’ll be presenting several seasonal stories that have been prepared especially with shippers like you in mind.
After all, we know from experience what a huge challenge this time of year can be for anyone who works in the eCommerce and fulfillment space. And we’re determined to do what we can to make your season bright.
And what better place to start than one of the biggest holiday myths?
2019 Peak Season Shipping Explained
If you have kids, you probably have a love-hate relationship with Santa.
On the one hand, you like the fact that your little ones believe in his magical ability. On the other, you know that someone has actually has to foot the bill for his “free” delivery – and that someone is you.
It’s a similar story with parcel shipping.
Over the past few years, an increasing number of shoppers have begun to expect free shipping. In fact, many will abandon their shopping carts if they don’t get it. And that poses a huge challenge for eTailers -- because we all know that free shipping actually isn’t free and that if we’re not careful it can really erode our company’s profit margin.
Three Ways to Save on Shipping Packages During Peak Season
Sadly, Verst can’t do anything about the free shipping trend. However we can offer you some practical ideas for how to cut or contain costs in other areas.
- Shipping the majority of packages via the U.S. Postal Service or using parcel carriers’ hybrid services (like SmartPost and SurePost) so that you eliminate residential delivery surcharges.
- Putting checks and balances in place ensure that orders ship out in their intended smallest possible model of box. Now that dimensional pricing is so common, such checks are an essential line of defense against the costly mistake that some product pickers can make – namely shipping products out in a larger (read: more expensive to ship) box than necessary.
- And taking advantage of your 3PLs’ higher-volume shipping cachet. Chances are good that we may be able to get more attractive pricing from carriers (including lower home delivery surcharges, a better dim-weight divisor and lower accessorial charges) simply because we ship more products than you do.
Needless to say, there’s a lot more to the free shipping-cost containment discussion than this, including some suggestions that we’ll share with you later in this series.
Meanwhile, here’s ho, ho, ho-ping the rest of your holiday season is merry and bright.