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Why E-Commerce Demands Multi-Carrier Shipping Systems

Uncover the top ways a multi-carrier shipping system can help you navigate e-commerce fulfillment and prepare for the future.

Online shopping has grown in the past year and is on a trajectory to increase further. Research shows 86% of consumers plan to continue shopping more online well after the pandemic, and 42% hope to make fewer trips to stores in the future. While this trend is good news for retailers, it’s important to remember consumers demand a smooth user experience from the moment they click “check out” to the moment their package is deposited on their doorstep. Failing to satisfy at both the “discover” AND the “deliver” phases of the purchase experience can erode customer loyalty.

Under this intense pressure to fulfill orders on time and in full, retailers were already feeling a strain in their warehouses in 2020 and early 2021. But add peak season-like consumer demands, production bottlenecks, unprecedented cargo logjams, carrier capacity constraints, and skyrocketing freight costs to the end-of-the-year supply chain equation, and suddenly there were plenty of opportunities for e-commerce fulfillment to go wrong. And at the risk of being the bearer of bad news, the new year has not brought new relief to the extent everyone hoped.

Fortunately, our technology has evolved to support these challenges. In this blog post, we will uncover the top ways utilizing a multi-carrier shipping system can help you successfully navigate e-commerce fulfillment and prepare your organization for the future.

Get More Out of your Order Fulfillment Workflows

Regardless of which products you’re shipping, having complete control over – and visibility into – your order deliveries is key to ensuring on-time arrival. Sadly, this kind of control is often hard to come by. Many retailers find the parcel shipping landscape challenging given fluctuations in carrier constraints, changing shipping regulations (looking at you, Brexit), and unexpected carrier fees and surcharges.

But using a cloud-based multi-carrier shipping system with a Control Tower can help you future-proof your order fulfillment workflows against these market changes by giving you the flexibility you need to swiftly initiate:

  • New carrier services
  • Ship-from-store deliveries
  • Ship-to-store deliveries from distribution centers or other stores
  • Online order pickup at curbside or in-store
  • Advanced parcel management, including
    • Automated carrier rating and rate shopping to identify the lowest cost carrier service according to point of origin, point of destination, delivery timeline, and any applicable business rules
    • Parcel consolidation to control costs
    • Mode shopping to find carrier service alternatives
    • Automated cross-border compliance and documentation
  • Parcel shipping activity and status reviews at both large scale and granular levels
  • Automated delivery event alerts

And the features and functionality don’t stop there. The long-term value of cloud multi-carrier shipping technology lies in its inherent ability to grow with you, enabling you to land an integrated transportation strategy worldwide – consistently improving on-time delivery rates and saving money with each parcel journey, no matter what you’re shipping, where you’re shipping, and with whom you’re partnering in the warehouse or on the road.

Even better, when you choose a solution that’s built on an open platform, there’s no end to the “integration” in “integrated transportation strategy.” You’ll be able to seamlessly exchange data with all your business-critical systems as well as with your carriers without building custom UIs. Ultimately, you’ll improve the time to value of your multi-carrier shipping technology investment and optimize the infrastructure for your business long-term in the cloud, in the data center, and in your tech stack.

Boost Your Customer Experience

Not only is multi-carrier shipping technology convenient for your warehouse and order fulfillment teams, but it will also be convenient for your customers as well.

In this digital age, many customers put themselves first and purchase based on convenience. This is a huge driver behind most e-commerce sales.

To continue to keep sales high, sophisticated retailers are integrating their multi-carrier shipping technology with their OMS and WMS solutions to quickly include in-store pick-up as one of their delivery options. When bringing customers in-store, they’re not only decreasing their carbon footprint by reducing the environmental impact of parcel packaging and travel emissions, but they’re also increasing the total purchase value by encouraging in-store foot traffic. (There’s a reason people joke about entering big box retailers for one item and then leaving with $100 worth of merchandise: impulse purchases!)

Furthermore, when retailers integrate their multi-carrier shipping technology with their e-commerce technology, customers can also track their order delivery online on the retailer’s website. This provides peace of mind and a positive brand experience.

And the same positive brand experience can be created with returns. Smart retailers leverage their multi-carrier shipping technology to pre-print a return label and any other required labels (such as hazmat) and include them in the original parcel. This streamlines the returns process for the customer and bonus: it enables the retailer to execute the return shipment at the lowest possible cost – a critical strategy for those that provide free returns.

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Looking for the right multi-carrier shipping technology?

Multi-carrier technology is more than just a warehouse solution. It is a combination of broad carrier network access, supply chain technology integrations, and expertise.

With Logistyx, you get all the above. We work to create a partnership with you and your carriers that will help you ship millions of parcels worldwide at the lowest possible cost. Learn more about Logistyx today.