Black Friday’s just around the corner: Let’s talk shipping and fulfilment

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By Published On: October 10, 20230 Comments

ShipStation shares the benefits of choosing the right shipping partner and reveals the key to successful sales with Sendle.

The rising cost of living and lowered levels of consumer spending won’t dampen this sales season. According to Auctane’s Peak Season Report* released last week, Australians are increasingly hunting for deals this peak season, with spend across online marketplaces projected at over $4.8B.

Preparation for Black Friday is already underway, and small businesses are checking their website performance, planning their offers and honing their marketing efforts, but consumers aren’t waiting. In fact, 57% of Australian shoppers plan to do most of their shopping online, and 25% said they would begin their peak season shopping as early as September – calling for retailers to harness tools and ecommerce partners today to deliver delightful experiences that convert, drive loyalty and repurchase come Boxing Day.

Reviewing online order fulfilment and logistics processes now will help well beyond the buzz of Black Friday.

Your shipping costs, convenience and speed of delivery matter.

Choosing the right shipping partner is the key to successful sales. With budgets already tightened this year, 23% of customers will focus on delivery costs during their online sale shopping. But keeping shipping costs down is a big ask of small businesses as recent postage cost increases cut heavily into profits.

45% of Australian consumers said that late deliveries or deliveries arriving when no one is available is the biggest concern during peak season.

Sendle’s discount rates are available in ShipStation – saving retailers a staggering 48% off standard postage rates, reliable pick up and the ability for customers to define delivery instructions. Plus, Sendle is Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral delivery service – an important factor for increasingly environmentally-conscious consumers.

“We can save on average $6K monthly on shipping and more than $70,000 a year with Sendle. That’s a game changing figure for a small business like ours.” – Ben Dineen, co-founder, The WOD Life

Price hikes and simple integration with ShipStation made moving most of their shipping volume to Sendle a no-brainer for The WOD Life.

If you’re in the business of electronics, cosmetics, fashion, books, gourmet foods, accessories, or home furnishings, you’re likely to be sending out small parcels regularly. Most shippers start at 500g, but Sendle offers an even lighter 250g pouch, which can make all the difference on those smaller items.

Sendle has the best prices on small parcels, guaranteed, with Australia’s cheapest 250g and 500g options in the market, both available through ShipStation. And while discounted rates help move the needle, business-wide efficiencies are a game changer.

Driving efficiencies in fulfilment

When orders are coming in thick and fast, you need systems that work. Precious time lost to inventory management, shipping rate comparisons, and returns processing is a cost that could better be spent elsewhere, particularly during peak periods.
When reviewing your fulfilment processes, ask yourself questions like:
  • Where is the bulk of time spent? Is it on tracking orders, inventory management, packing, organising shipping, or somewhere else?
  • What’s your error rate? How often do customers get the wrong item or worse – nothing at all?
  • Are you always getting the best price on shipping? And how do you confirm that?
  • How many systems are you using to receive orders, manage inventory, order and track shipments, update customers, etc.?
  • What’s your return process like? And what’s the impact (time and cost) on your business?
  • Does your fulfilment process work for you, or is it the master of the show?
The key here is automation. Imagine a fulfilment process that works:
  1. Customers browse your site. Your inventory updates automatically as others make purchases so no one left out with an unfulfillable order.
  2. Orders come in. They’re automatically matched with best price shipping based on delivery address and size/weight so there’s no time-consuming, manual double-checking or profits falling through the cracks.
  3. Orders are batched. Rather than handling orders one by one, you batch them to streamline packing and shipping. Shipping labels, packing slips and pack lists are all printed in batches too.
  4. Orders go out. Couriers are scheduled for pick-up of each batch in a click so you can focus on packing products up safely.
  5. Tracking is updated. And customers are notified – automatically, of course – with on-brand experiences that keep your business front and centre.
ShipStation’s shipping software makes order fulfilment easy. It’s integrated with hundreds of ecommerce solutions and marketplaces to automatically import orders. It manages your inventory and uses scan-based workflows, bulk updates and automation so you can quickly get orders out the door and into customers’ waiting hands. And Sendle’s already built in, giving you fast access to discounted 250g pouches, 500g satchels, and domestic and international rates all in one place.

“After a 15-minute call we’d integrated Sendle into ShipStation, and integrated that with our Shopify store. And, we had a van booked in for the next day to pick up our orders.” – Andres Herrero, Sydney Sock Project (pictured above).

Ready to get your shipping and fulfilment under control before Black Friday comes knocking on your door? See what ShipStation and Sendle can do for you with ShipStation’s 30-day free trial today and Sendle’s exclusive ShipStation offer giving you automatic access to Ship & Save Level 3. That’s savings of up to 21% on Sendle’s already low standard rates for every parcel and free access to a powerful fulfilment and shipping solution that will drive growth from October to Black Friday, Christmas and beyond.

*ShipStation and Auctane, Peak Season Report 2023, September 2023.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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