By: Aaron Rubin, Founder & CEO of ShipHero
Providing fast, reliable shipping is crucial for growing your eCommerce retail brand. Pitney Bowe’s Holiday Shipping Survey found that over 90% of consumers consider shipping options a vital factor in their shopping experience, so meeting these expectations is crucial.
Unfortunately, eCommerce retailers face many challenges with shipping. Some of the most common issues are:
Scaling fulfillment as you grow
As your eCommerce brand grows, managing supply chain processes becomes increasingly challenging. More stock needs to be managed, more orders must be fulfilled, and your team may struggle to keep up. Eventually, hiring more workers becomes necessary, which drives your costs up and won’t necessarily optimize inventory management.
Keeping up with major retailers and their fast delivery speeds
Outdoing that one competitor that copied your brand colors and runs suspiciously similar marketing campaigns to yours isn’t difficult, but when it comes to shipping speeds, you’re not just competing with other brands.
You’re up against major eCommerce platforms like Amazon that offer expedited shipping, including free 2-day delivery options. Offering expedited shipping is costly for most growing eCommerce brands, and if you can pull it off, your options are to eat the costs or charge your customers more.
Unfortunately, both options have serious drawbacks and can hurt your bottom line significantly.
Knowing when & how to leverage data
Effectively managing fulfillment processes, including inventory, involves a great deal of data, analytics, and reporting. Unfortunately, many eCommerce retailers struggle with accurate data logging and making sense of the information.
Inventory reports, order history, pick and pack team reports, and other information is only useful if your team knows how to leverage them adequately.
Training & hiring warehouse fulfillment experts
Hiring a less experienced labor force may seem cost-effective on the surface. After all, fewer labor costs, less expenditure, right? Except it isn’t that simple.
Warehouse fulfillment includes many processes that have to be executed efficiently and with great care. Otherwise, orders get delayed, and packages are damaged. Since inexperienced workers are less efficient and prone to making mistakes, your bottom line may suffer from costly returns and unhappy customers. Your options are to either train a less-experienced workforce or to hire experts, and both choices can be quite expensive.
Demand forecasting & inventory management
How do eCommerce retailers know which products are running low and when to reorder? How do brands prepare for the peak holiday season and demand surges? Answer: by managing inventory and forecasting demand.
Unfortunately, efficiently managing inventory and accurately forecasting demand can be challenging. To monitor real-time inventory levels, eCommerce retailers need systems that actively record when items enter or leave the warehouse. Additionally, to forecast demand, you need systems that analyze previous data and industry trends to predict future orders.
eCommerce marketplace fulfillment
Marketplace fulfillment helps small and medium-sized eCommerce retailers gain a competitive edge, but marketplaces have strict tenants in place that are challenging to fulfill.
Marketplace fulfillment also comes with drawbacks that may hinder your customer’s experience – eCommerce retailers don’t have active control over the shipping process, which means you can’t directly prevent delays or incorrect deliveries.
Warehouse management software
Outdated warehouse management software (WMS) is not suited to meet the needs of modern eCommerce retailers. Many retailers have old WMS that is optimized for managing truck loads. However, the eCommerce market is overflowing with larger volumes of small orders. Thus, retailers need a WMS that can accurately track these orders, monitor inventory levels, and keep up with large order volumes.
Fulfillment tools have come a long way – retailers can now optimize warehousing processes with the help of automation, conveyor belts, machinery such as cranes and forklifts, and even robots. However, buying these fulfillment tools requires a significant initial investment, and managing them requires a skilled labor force.
Thus, eCommerce retailers struggle to get the most out of fulfillment tools, because training and hiring a skilled workforce is expensive and time-consuming for growing brands.
Shipping prices vary from carrier to carrier, and there is no designated ‘best’ partner to ship with. Some carriers may offer better rates for smaller packages, while others may be ideal for heavier items. To keep your costs low, and the prices your customers pay, it’s important to pick the carrier offering the lowest rates for each order.
Unfortunately, calculating shipping rates with different carriers for each order, and comparing the costs, is a challenge many eCommerce retailers face.
How ShipHero’s WMS turns you into a fulfillment expert
ShipHero’s leading warehouse management software helps the fastest growing eCommerce retailers scale their fulfillment operations and optimize their workflow.
And here’s how.
Automation rules & APIs
ShipHero’s WMS lets retailers set automation rules in response to actions and triggers. You can set automation rules to send order-related emails, set reorder points, and select shipping methods based on zip codes.
Additionally, ShipHero’s API is built on GraphQL to meet the needs of individual businesses. You have complete control over how much data to pull based on your unique implementation needs.
Better analytics & reporting
ShipHero’s WMS delivers real-time data and analytics, so eCommerce retailers can accurately track inventory, optimize inventory management processes, and identify replenishment needs.
Faster shipping & fewer returns
ShipHero’s tech-enabled fulfillment experts cut down picking and packing times, reduce errors, and carefully manage your packages to protect them from damages. As a result, your orders are shipped faster, and customer returns requests decrease.
ShipHero’s WMS also streamlines inventory management by actively monitoring inventory levels, issuing reorder alerts, multi-warehouse and order allocations to manage automatic product allocation and more.
Mobile pick & pack tools
ShipHero’s secure mobile pick & pack tools help your fulfillment team pick orders faster and more accurately, decreasing shipping times and errors. The mobile application’s intuitive interface takes just 24 hours to get used to, and your team can leverage barcode scanning functionality to guarantee accurate pickings.
Additionally, with ShipHero’s BulkShip feature, your team can process bulk orders faster with less manual overhead.
Powerful order management capabilities
ShipHero’s WMS integrates directly with all major eCommerce platforms and marketplaces, including Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, eBay and more. After integrating into your store, ShipHero’s WMS makes sure your orders are delivered on time.
Retailers can use ShipHero’s WMS to track orders and update inventory data, validate customer addresses and details, automatically assign orders, set automation rules, and more.
Smart warehouse routing
ShipHero’s WMS comes with smart warehouse routing that retailers use to automatically allocate orders to any location, as soon as the customer completes the sale.
Or let ShipHero handle fulfillment for you
ShipHero’s leading WMS is trusted by thousands of eCommerce retailers, including leading Fortune 500 brands. However, some merchants prefer to outsource their fulfillment process entirely, so they can focus on growing their eCommerce brand.
If you’re looking for an experienced, tech-enabled team to manage your order fulfillment process, here’s why ShipHero is the top choice for fast-growing eCommerce brands:
ShipHero Fulfillment keeps our eCommerce partners in the loop by providing real-time visibility and transparency. You can view and track orders, and see how they were packed and when they were shipped.
Inventory management tools
ShipHero’s industry-leading WMS optimizes your inventory and warehouse management processes to cut costs, reduce errors, and deliver better customer experiences. With our accurate demand forecasting, eCommerce retailers are safe from overstocking or running out of in-demand items.
2-day and overnight delivery
ShipHero Fulfillment helps even the fastest-growing retailers keep up with large order volumes and consistently offer expedited shipping at affordable rates. With ShipHero, you can deliver the best customer experiences without compromising your bottom line.
With the eCommerce sector becoming increasingly competitive, eCommerce brands have to meet customer expectations and outdo their competitors to grow steadily. While retailers face many shipping challenges, technology, automation, and an experienced workforce can help brands overcome these issues.
Advanced warehouse management software like ShipHero’s helps eCommerce retailers fulfill modern needs, offering advanced analytics and reporting, accurate forecasting, automation rules, and mobile tools to decrease errors and reduce picking times.
However, some businesses may benefit more from outsourcing their fulfillment processes entirely to a third party, like ShipHero Fulfillment. In fact, because of how effective 3PLs are, around 90% of Fortune 500s have partnered with one.
So whether you need a powerful WMS or the best fulfillment partner, start growing your eCommerce brand today with ShipHero.
Schedule a meeting today with our experts to learn more about our WMSbuilt for eCommerce brands & 3PLs looking to run their best warehouse and how ShipHero works to ensure that organizations invest in the solutions that match their needs, to improve productivity, revenue, and success.
Click HERE to Schedule a Meeting Today
Aaron Rubin, Founder & CEO
About the author: Aaron Rubin is the Founder & CEO of ShipHero. He is responsible for planning and executing the overall vision and strategy of the organization. Rubin’s greatest strengths are leadership, change management, strategic planning and a passion for progression. He is known for having his finger on the pulse of ShipHero’s major initiatives, his entrepreneurial spirit, and keen business acumen. His leadership of ShipHero is grounded in providing excellent customer service that drives improved business operations. His passion for ShipHero comes from the culture and his ability to have an impact on the lives of employees, customers, partners, and investors.