• 5 Crucial Holiday Shipping Strategies for Ecommerce Sellers

    10/09/2020 — Leah Palnik

    Get Control of Your Holiday Shipments

    As a consumer, it might feel like it’s too soon to start thinking about the holidays, but retailers know that waiting is not an option. If you’re an ecommerce seller, you’ve probably already been stocking up your inventory and preparing for the increase in traffic to your site. As you’re getting ready for this busy time of year, keep these crucial holiday shipping strategies in mind.

    1. Reduce your parcel rates
      Shipping orders to your customers can get expensive, fast. While some of the big players in ecommerce can negotiate discounted rates directly with FedEx and UPS, that doesn’t mean that the smaller sellers have to suffer. If you belong to a trade association or a chamber of commerce, check out their member benefits. Many groups offer parcel discounts with UPS or FedEx that are included as part of your membership.

    2. Consider on-demand warehousing options
      If you don’t need year-round warehouse space, but your orders ramp up significantly during the holiday season, consider using on-demand warehousing. This can help alleviate the pressure on your existing operations, in a time when it’s crucial that everything runs smoothly. A key part of this strategy is also the added ability to reach your customers sooner. It’s no secret that meeting customer expectations for deliveries is essential to your business, and with the right warehousing partner, you’ll be able to reduce transit times and gain access to cost-effective expedited services.

    3. Clearly communicate shipping deadlines
      There are some of us who are guilty of waiting until the last minute to do their holiday shopping. When’s the last day to order for Christmas? Do you offer expedited options or any special seasonal guarantees that could give you a leg up over the competition? Managing customer expectations for holiday shipping will increase your customer satisfaction. Clearly communicate this information on your website, during the purchasing process, and in emails to your subscribers.

    4. Consider special promotions
      Now is the time to pull out all the stops to maximize your sales. People are looking to buy, and it’s your job to incentivize them to spend their hard earned dollars on your site. According to a report by the National Retail Federation, 50% of shoppers cited a limited-time sale or promotion as the reason they were swayed to purchase an item they were on the fence about.

      Even more notable, 64% of shoppers said that free shipping has influenced them to make a purchase. Offering free shipping has become the new normal in the world of ecommerce. If you’re worried about the costs of “free shipping” there are several different strategies you could try. For example, try setting the free shipping threshold above your average order amount to increase the amount people spend when making a purchase on your site. When executed properly, consumers will be more likely to add items to their cart to meet the minimum and it becomes a win-win.

    5. Set up a streamlined returns process
      With increased holiday sales comes the inevitable – returns. According to a Narvar Consumer Report, 74% of customers said return shipping fees will prevent them from making a purchase. On the flip side, 72% said that a “no questions asked” return policy would make them more likely to buy from a retailer. The influence of the return policy on the purchase decision is undeniable. Make your return policy as customer friendly as possible and communicate it clearly at the beginning of the shopping experience. Also, take proactive steps like providing return labels in the original order and offering in-store returns so it is less of a headache for you and your customers.

    Striking a balance between appealing customer promotions and the right holiday shipping strategies can help make your season bright. If you need to reduce your parcel costs or could use some help with storage and fulfillment, PartnerShip has you covered. Our shipping and warehousing services set ecommerce sellers up for success. Contact us today to learn how you can ship smarter.

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  • UPS and FedEx Peak Surcharges Announced for 2019

    09/24/2019 — Jerry Spelic

    2019 UPS and FedEx Peak Surcharges

    UPS and FedEx have both announced that they will not apply peak season surcharges on residential deliveries this holiday shipping season. However, both companies will continue peak surcharges on large shipments and those requiring additional handling during the holidays.

    During the 2018 holiday season, UPS applied a per package residential peak delivery surcharge of $0.28 for ground and $0.99 for air shipments. This year, the company is leveraging its expanded air and ground capacity, and automated sorting hubs and processing facilities, to pass cost savings on to customers in the form of no residential delivery peak surcharge. More than 75% of UPS's small package volume will pass through these automated facilities in peak 2019.

    “We delivered a record-setting 2018 peak season in terms of both on-time delivery performance and operations execution,” said David Abney, UPS Chairman and CEO. “We will build on the lessons learned last year and leverage our new efficient air and ground capacity to make the 2019 peak season another success for customers, investors and other stakeholders.”

    This is the third holiday season FedEx has not added additional peak surcharges on residential deliveries. With UPS and FedEx both not applying a residential delivery surcharge this year, it is great news for e-commerce retailers and online shoppers. Online sales are expected to grow 14% to 18% this holiday season, and in the past, these residential delivery surcharges were passed along to shoppers in the form of higher shipping costs.

    It’s important to remember that both UPS and FedEx are implementing peak surcharges this holiday season on larger packages and those that require additional handling.

    UPS peak surcharges will apply to larger packages from October 1 through January 4:

    • $31.45 per package for shipments that qualify as large (a 20% increase from 2018)
    • $250.00 per package for shipments that qualify as over maximum limits (a 51.5% increase)

    UPS will apply peak surcharges for additional handling from November 24 through January 4:

    • $3.60 per package for shipments that require additional handling (a 14% increase)
    FedEx peak surcharges will apply to larger packages from October 21 through January 5:

    • $37.60 per package for shipments that qualify as oversize (a 36.7% increase from 2018)
    • $435.00 per package for shipments that qualify as unauthorized (a 190% increase)
    FedEx will apply peak surcharges for larger packages from November 18 through January 5:

    • $4.10 per package for shipments that requires additional handling (a 13.8% increase)

    The growth of e-commerce and online shopping for large and awkwardly shaped products such as mattresses and furniture has necessitated these surcharges because heavy and bulky packages can’t move through the automated systems in which UPS and FedEx have heavily invested. Through these surcharges, shippers are paying the price for the loss of efficiency these packages represent.

    If you’re a retailer, you should pay close attention to this year’s UPS and FedEx peak season surcharges so you can make any needed changes now to help ensure you remain profitable during the busy holiday shipping (and shopping) season. A good first step would be to look at the large packages you ship and determine which will be impacted by the peak surcharges.

    The UPS and FedEx additional handling peak surcharge will be triggered by packages that:
    • Weigh more than 70 pounds
    • Measure more than 48 inches along its longest side and more than 30 inches along its second-longest side
    • Are not enclosed in traditional corrugated cardboard packaging

    UPS Large Package and FedEx Oversize Package surcharges will be triggered by any package that exceeds 96 inches in length or 130 inches in length and girth.

    UPS Over Maximum Limit and FedEx Unauthorized Package surcharges will be triggered by any package that exceeds 150 lbs., 165 inches in length and girth combined, or longer than 108 inches.

    Surcharges for these packages are already high; additional UPS and FedEx peak surcharges represent an added dent to your bottom line. When deciding how to ship your small package shipments, or if you should use LTL to ship your oversized or heavy packages, you need an expert on your side. PartnerShip manages shipping programs for over 140 associations, providing exclusive discounts on small package shipments to their members. To find out if you qualify or to learn how you can ship smarter, contact us today.

    FedEx and UPS rates will be going up after the holiday season! Make sure you know what to expect so you can mitigate the impact to your bottom line. Our free white paper breaks down where you'll find the highest increases and explains some of the complicated changes you need to be aware of.

    Download the free white paper: Your Guide to the 2020 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases

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  • Are You Ready for Small Business Saturday?

    11/20/2015 — Leah Palnik

    Mark your calendars! Small Business Saturday® this year is November 28th. Since 2010, this day has been dedicated to supporting small businesses and local communities across the country. Last year, 88 million people got out to Shop Small®, making this "small" day a pretty big deal. 

    If you own a small business be sure to take advantage of the free marketing materials you can use to promote the day and encourage shoppers to visit your business. The more you do to promote it, the more customers you'll see come through your door. 

    If you're interested in shopping small, click here to find participating businesses for dinning, shopping, entertainment and more. You'll find a great tool to search for local merchants in your community that you can help support with your loyalty over the holiday shopping season.

    Not only is PartnerShip a small business, but we also actively support thousands of other small businesses across North America with discounted shipping services and unique, value-added shipping solutions. We're glad to support this annual event which is sponsored by American Express. For more information on PartnerShip services and how we can help support your small business, click here to contact us.


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  • Happy National Small Business Week!

    05/04/2015 — Matt Nagel

    PartnerShip prides itself on being able to help businesses of all shapes and sizes save on their shipping costs. Small businesses are an integral part of the United States economy and, every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing a National Small Business Week recognizing the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. This year, May 4-8th has been designated as the week to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories.

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the organization that coordinates this yearly event, and has designated this year's theme as "SBA: Dream Big. Start Small."

    The week will highlight small businesses with events in Miami, Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York City and culminating in Washington, D.C. where national winners will be recognized and awarded.  Additionally, recognition events throughout SBA’s 10 Regions and 68 Districts will be held throughout the months of May and June.

    If you're interested in learning more about National Small Business Week, you can visit the SBA website. There you'll find a schedule of both live and online events and other helpful information.



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  • eCommerce Benchmarks for Your Business

    03/25/2015 — Leah Palnik