How Retailers Are Evolving With Their Customers

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There is often a correlation between customer satisfaction and company profitability. To be more specific, if businesses aren’t able to find the balance between giving customers what they want while still making revenue, they risk losing business to competitors or simply go out of business. Billionaire and businessman, Mark Cuban, says it perfectly, “Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you.” With millions of customers looking towards online retailers to satisfy their needs, it is up to each eCommerce business to understand what their customers want and how they can best fulfill it. As customers continue to change their preferences and demands, retailers must be able to adapt and exceed customer’s expectations in order to continue to have a competitive edge and keep their business alive.

When online shopping, customers first and foremost want a seamless buying experience: a process that is both user-friendly and instantly gratifying. This means that retailers must ensure that their websites are easy to use and can instantly deliver, both with their products and their service. There are many aspects to consider in order to ensure quality service- fast and free shipping, transparent shipment tracking and efficient order management to ensure smooth delivery. By deciding to order an item online versus shopping in person, customers want to be guaranteed that their purchase will take less time and effort than it takes to go to the store.

Once one company is able to deliver on those customer’s needs, competing retailers must also comply in order to retain customer loyalty. For example, with eCommerce giants like Amazon, setting the precedent of free shipping, companies must also offer the same services in order to avoid consumers switching to a competitor site that offers the same item without extra shipping fees. An extra $10 shipping charge can be the reason for in-cart abandonment and overall company revenue loss. Furthermore, customers expect their items to come quickly and want to be constantly updated on where there item is, without needing to call customer service or engage on external sites. While both of these services are necessities for online retailers, subsidizing shipping costs and constantly providing shipment updates can take away additional margins that businesses make on their products, as well as increase time spent on customer service.

Engaging in competitive pricing and service can turn out to be very costly for businesses. However, there are a couple of areas where businesses can tweak in order to avoid losing profit margins on their product. One solution is to minimize shipping costs by utilizing packing optimization and picking the cheapest carrier available for your specific service type and delivery speed. Another way to improve customer satisfaction is by improving the technology used on your platform. With no physical sales representative, user experience takes the place of in-person customer service. By finding an efficient system to constantly track and manage orders while constantly updating customers on their package, customers will not only call customer service less, but also be more satisfied with the delivery of their items.

While businesses can engage in many different solutions and strategies to satisfy these needs, there is also another option: integrating a shipping API like ShipHawk into your website. Not only does ShipHawk’s multi carrier rating and packing optimization software reduce overall shipping prices, but ShipHawk’s fully transparent tracking system leads to superior customer service. Instead of directing customers to third party sites to track their packages, ShipHawk integrates all carrier tracking systems into one platform, so that customers can directly track their shipments on your website. Furthermore, instead of having to request shipping updates from carriers, ShipHawk pushes these updates in real-time so less time has to be spent inquiring carriers. By both streamlining your business’s shipping process and improving end-to-end customer buying experience, ShipHawk is able to increase company revenue through both customer conversions and operation costs.

In conclusion, no matter what solution your business chooses to implement, retailers must face the facts. As the eCommerce market becomes more advanced and technologically advanced, customers will continue to increase their demands and expectations for online retailers. While there may be many things that retailers can do to improve, one thing is clear. If retailers do not adapt and evolve with their customers, it will be very hard to maintain a successful business.

How Much Does ShipHawk Shipping Software Cost?

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One of the questions we are asked regularly is, “How much does ShipHawk cost?”, to which the reply is typically along the lines of “Well, tell me about your business.”  At ShipHawk, we pride ourselves on transparency, which is one of the reasons why we would like to be able to provide on-the-fly-pricing. Unfortunately it’s just not that easy. You see, ShipHawk’s pricing is based on a variable model, designed to ensure that you pay a price relevant to your specific needs and usage. This not only helps ensure a fair pricing system, but it also enables us to continue building a superior product that is best-in-class in it’s category and improving every single day.

To give you an idea of the complexity that goes into a variable pricing model, take into account two different sized businesses: one ships 100 packages per day, while the other ships 1000 shipments per day.  Now add drop shipping to the mix, the number of users and type of access needed, special requirements such as ERP or WMS integration, carrier specific services, and international shipping requirements- the list goes on and on.  Is it fair that the business with the lower shipping volume should pay the same as the higher one?  What if that business has more complex needs but lower shipping volume over all?  These factors, and more, are carefully analyzed and taken into account on every potential new customer relationship to ensure each and every need is addressed and priced appropriately.

Consistency is Key

Although ShipHawk’s pricing fluctuates based on the needs of our clients, the service does not.  Every account is looked after with the same level of care, ensuring success and long-term partnership, which is the hallmark of the relationships we build with our customers.  Ultimately, we see ourselves as a partner to your business, not just another vendor who does the “shipping.” We assign a dedicated Account Manager who knows you and your business, backed by the full support of ShipHawk’s customer service team, implementation team, product team and engineering team to make sure our partnership is successful – and it’s all included.

Legacy Technology is a Thing of the Past

An overwhelming majority of businesses, from small to large, seek out ShipHawk for one thing – to replace legacy technology that required servers, annual maintenance and support costs, paid training fees, staffing to support complex infrastructures and more. Now, tack on the added expenses for data-center space and the salaried IT professionals paid to make sure nothing stops working.  Suddenly your costs have skyrocketed well beyond even a fraction of the cost of ShipHawk, which comes without the headaches and unpredictability.

In fact, ShipHawk is the only company who won’t nickel and dime you to get you the solutions you need.  We don’t charge implementation fees and we don’t charge for professional services fees.  We only charge for software licensing and we take the rest on our shoulders as our part of the partnership.

It Gets Better

As an added bonus, ShipHawk customers take advantage of the latest, most cutting-edge and advanced features at no additional cost.  Whenever we add new carriers, discover ways to save money, improve workflows or add customer facing enhancements, they are automatically available to users- free of charge.  This also means cost-predictability, something that is extremely important for long term planning and reducing risk, regardless of how many users you bring on-board.  How important is this?  Just ask your CFO.

Keeping it Apples-to-Apples

We find that ShipHawk is often compared to the dozens of “shipping solutions” available out there, yet none offer the complete breadth of services, and they all tend to operate on the nickel and dime model.  When you take into account the cost for integration, base software, Bill of Lading fees, carrier modules, seats and support, you wind up with an inferior product with a higher price tag.

It’s common for businesses to try and reduce costs by purchasing fewer features or seats than they might need, and it makes sense, assuming they would be paying for something they don’t need.  What happens, however, is that they often miss out on opportunities for further cost reduction. These costs could be carrier or efficiency based and when multiple users are sharing a single account, it becomes impossible to track history and audit accordingly, which in-turn increases risk. So, are those cut costs really worth it?

ShipHawk is Predictable, Reliable and Scalable

When you sign up for ShipHawk, you get more than a best-in-class shipping and fulfillment platform. You get predictability, reliability and scalability.  That means you can rest assured and shift focus to what matters most: growing your business.

How much is ShipHawk going to cost you?  I don’t know yet, but I’m happy to spend time learning about your business and understanding your pains and initiatives. And I’ll come back to you with a fair price that addresses your needs and creates the value and goodwill and on which long term partnerships are formed.  

Shipping as a Service

customer demands free returnsAs online shopping rises in popularity, it’s now more important than ever for eCommerce stores to invest in shipping optimization strategies and a solid shipping platform. Consumers are growing accustomed to the fast, free, and reliable shipping services that they receive from companies like Amazon Prime, and are expecting the same caliber of efficiency from every online store that they purchase from. Nothing screams “I’m never shopping here again” like a missing package or one that takes ages for a customer to receive.

Some of the biggest pains companies experience when trying to find the best shipping solutions are reducing their shipping costs on diverse parcel and enhancing the post-purchase customer experience. Nowadays, these issues are difficult to solve unless businesses invest in SaaS shipping solutions. Platforms that optimize shipping strategies give companies a competitive advantage by reducing costs, increasing profit margins and minimizing stress through logistics automation and intelligence. An example of a shipping platform that helps businesses achieve these goals is ShipHawk.

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