Using proprietary software from your shipping vendors is unlikely to save you money because they won’t extend any discounts to you for using their labels, software, and so on. The only way to cut costs with vendors is to negotiate better rates, and this is something few will do right from the start. Instead, they want you to establish a longer term relationship with them, do a specific amount of business, and only then will they decide if they’ll give you any sort of discount or special rate.
This is a bit annoying to anyone interested in an online retail business because it means that you cannot rely on lower shipping costs as part of your overall business plan. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have no options.
Take those multichannel management services that streamline everything into a single funnel. Using their resources you can often manage inventory, ordering, shipping, returns, and every other facet of your online sales, in a single dashboard or site. These integrated and all-in-one services usually incorporate simple shipping management software that streamlines everything.
The good news is that some providers of shipping management software also partner with leading shippers to be able to extend discounted services to their clients. The “big” names in shipping such as FedEx and UPS appear on these services, and this could be a good way to cut costs exponentially.
Beyond the Obvious
Naturally, if you are proactive about costs and ways of enhancing income, you look at shipping in the big picture sense. This means you factor in the costs of supplies, of time spent on the many shipping related tasks, and also those per package prices. When you add these things up, it can often serve as a surprise to see just how much time is dedicated on shipping. This makes the use of shipping management software even more appealing.
Consider a simple transaction in order to understand how and why integrated shipping management software is so remarkably cost effective: One of your retail channels receives a sale and the system adjusts inventory across all of your channels. The service then creates a packing list and label according to the specific shipping selected by your buyer. The details are then available at your office or warehouse (even if you are alerting a drop-shipper), and the package is readied for shipping. As soon as the shipment occurs the buyer receives notification through the actual channel, and everyone can then track the progress of the package.
Of course, if you choose your shipping management software wisely, you will be able to offer the full gamut of shipping options, and you’ll tap into discounts accordingly.
What if that buyer selects things that cannot ship together? Good shipping management software will alert the business owner to this glitch or dilemma and will allow for timely handling of the situation. While you should address things such as oversized packages when creating product listings, there is always the risk of two objects being unable to be packaged together, such as two heavier objects. Your software should be able to overcome the shipping headache that is known as “multiple shipments”, and to help you avoid costly mistakes in the future.
In addition to opening the door to discounted shipping of all kinds, the use of integrated software will allow you to save time and money in many other ways, discover what it really costs to ship each item, and streamline the entire process.
Turn to integrated shipping management software to cut costs and maintain control over all facets of shipping, packing, and even inventory management.