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How to Make Sure You Get the Best Shipping Rates

Ninety-six percent of online shoppers are more likely to buy from an online store that offers free shipping. We can't afford to offer free shipping all of the time, of course, but we could do it more often if we had strong ways to counterbalance lost profits.

When it isn't a value-add, shipping can also be a pain point in ecommerce. Most online merchants have experienced what it's like to watch a shipping disaster hold up more pressing business matters. What about pricing? How do you make sure you get the best shipping rates?

Between fraud potential, lost orders and special shipping, ensuring the best shipping rates is tough if you don't have the right approach and toolset. Creating a comprehensive shipping procedure for your business can help. Integrating features of your shopping cart software is another crucial part of the process.

How do you make sure you get the best shipping rates? Check out three tips below to help you create your own shipping standards.

Integrate address validation tools.
One the biggest shipping problems plaguing online merchants is address problems. A lot of the time, challenges arise when customers make a simple typo. In other cases, address problems are linked to fraud.

In every case, address issues result in lost revenue for your business.

Combating address issues is as simple as installing an address validation feature into your online store. It runs in real-time, checking customer addresses against those in the USPS database to identify known addresses. When a customer enters an unrecognized address, they’re prompted to fix it before they check out.

Using an ecommerce feature like address validation leads to a more efficient shipping system. As a result, you avoid penalties and fees imposed by shipping services for incorrect addresses. You also avoid lost products that result in unhappy customers and out-of-pocket losses for your store.

Pay special attention to shipping containers.
How do you package your goods before you ship them? Do you have a strong system in place? Finding the right way to package and ship goods can make a huge impact on the cost of shipping.

Think of it this way: your products probably come in a number of sizes. But if you only stock three types of boxes, you'll have to make compromises. For instance, a product that just misses the cut on the middle size box has to go in the big box. If you had at least one box size in between the two, you could cut costs on your shipping.

Choose pickup or counter shipping based on your needs.
Depending on your situation, shipping might make more sense either as a "pickup" or "counter" service through your shipping provider.

A pickup option, for instance, makes sense if you're shipping a lot of products daily. On the other hand, the counter option is usually cheaper. If you're a small shop or right around the corner from a UPS or FedEx location, this might be the option for you.

by Gonzalo Gil Google