Not so long ago, retailers could get along just fine partnering with a single carrier to deliver their wares. If anything, this was preferable to using multiple carriers as it allowed for the negotiation of favourable rates and a standardised shipping process. Today, however, this poses a huge risk to growing businesses. Carrier services are always changing, so leveraging a range of different options as part of a multi-carrier shipping strategy can put your business ahead of the rest by providing more competitive rates and better customer experience.
4 Benefits of Using a Multi-Carrier Shipping Strategy
It’s More Cost-Effective
There are companies that believe that using a single parcel carrier is the simplest and most efficient way to get their eCommerce strategy off the ground. In the budding stages of business growth, the single-carrier system makes sense because order volume isn’t high enough to warrant using more than one courier service. This becomes an issue, however, when online sales begin to boom and business owners fail to revise the way they book couriers.
Many eCommerce business owners are becoming increasingly aware that overall profitability can be dramatically impacted by shipping costs. We here in the Shippit office have heard many a tale of businesses that were able to un-tap growth only to fork out much of their hard-earned profits into shipping.
With a multi-carrier shipping software solution, companies can effectively “rate shop” for different calculations that impact costs, while uncovering the best price among different carriers. Using more than one carrier service means you can select the most cost-effective route for every parcel.
Using more than one carrier will allow you to utilise a mix and match approach when you have parcels that vary in weight, dimensions or special handling requirements. Limiting yourself to one courier service might also put you at risk of unnecessary surcharges when different courier services might not charge you extra for certain delivery sizes or locations.
It Allows You to Leverage the Individual Strengths of Carriers
Naturally, carriers will have individual benefits and cater to different freight profiles so restricting yourself to one carrier means you’re only getting the best of one service. Having a pool of different courier services to draw from means you can offer the best customer experience possible, ensuring your parcels are delivered on time with the most competitive rates.
For example, for metro-to-metro deliveries, couriers are an attractive option for their ease with multiple delivery runs, collection points and dense metropolitan networks. Meanwhile, in regional areas, major carrier networks will always lead the way.
Moreover, certain carriers specialise in handling specific freight profiles and you’ll want to ensure you have a range of specialist couriers on hand whenever you need them. For example, carriers that specialise handling bulky freight can ensure your shipments are handled well, delivered on-time and at a competitive rate compared to other standard carriers. To learn more about this, check out our ebook on managing shipping performance of carriers here.
Meet Customer Demand and Expectations
The growth of eCommerce has led to increased demand from customers for greater shipping options, expedited delivery and on-demand availability. Nowadays, customers expect to have the choice between free shipping and next-day delivery, and they want to be able to personalise their delivery options.
An easy win for many businesses across Australia looking to meet their customers’ expectations is to offer a variety of shipping options from express to free standard delivery. If you’re struggling to think of the best way to book and track multiple carriers, Shippit is a flexible shipping software platform that will take the headache out of the multi-carrier approach for you. Check out our other features here.
Ever since Amazon began offering Prime two-day shipping, eCommerce retailers have been forced to modify their shipping offerings in order to maintain a competitive edge.
With same-day delivery expected to be the norm by 2023, bringing on a carrier that can honour this is fast becoming a need to have, not a nice to have. It doesn’t have to be costly either: 61% of customers are willing to pay more for same-day delivery.
It Improves Delivery Experiences and Service
Carriers have their bad days, and so having a multiple-carrier approach gives you the flexibility to select a preferred carrier, based on factors such as cost and service level. This puts your business on the front foot for it increases negotiating power and offers the leverage to hold freight partners accountable – why would they risk performing sub-par when you could easily switch partner? Carriers know this and, as a result, will work harder to earn your business.
With Shippit’s delivery reporting dashboard, you can gather and analyse data that can help you select a preferred carrier based on customer satisfaction, cost and service. You will know when deliveries moving to a particular region, customer or via a particular carrier are not meeting service levels. You will also be able to hold carriers accountable for failing to meet expectations and provide data to back-up rate negotiations. Finally, you’ll be able to consolidate carriers to ensure the best possible price. How’s that sound?
#1: Carriers have different strengths and one couldn’t possibly deliver on all your needs. Customers today expect choice (e.g., of free shipping, next-day delivery…). A multi-carrier approach, therefore, helps you to meet growing customer expectations.
#2: A multi-carrier approach gives you the power to negotiate costs. With multi-carrier shipping software, you can essentially “rate shop” for different calculations that impact costs, while uncovering the best price among carriers.
#3: Access to multiple carriers improves service and customer experience. With Shippit’s delivery reporting dashboard, you’ll be able to hold carriers accountable for failing to meet expectations.
Now that we’ve explored the benefits of using multiple carriers, the set-up might sound daunting to you if your business currently uses only one. It’s doesn’t have to be. Taking advantage of a shipping software will make shipping with multiple carriers easy. We at Shippit give you instant access with competitive rates using Australia’s leading carriers, in addition to ongoing support and maintenance for these carriers. The software also standardises the booking, labelling and tracking process across multiple carriers. For the support, knowledge and resources to scale your business, click here.