Why your online business needs to switch to a multi-carrier parcel delivery solution
Unlike many other industries, the UK eCommerce sector has been experiencing extraordinary growth (15.8% in 2014), presenting online retailers with a myriad of positive, but challenging problems.
This phenomenal growth is due to five major factors:
- Growth in the use of debit cards – debit card purchases saw an annual growth rate of 7.8% in 2014
- High rates of internet adoption amongst the aged
- A surge in investment in mobile-friendly websites by eCommerce agencies and platforms
- Increased usage and availability of mobile devices to make purchases online
- Increased consumer confidence in online shopping
The catch 22 presented by this healthy state of affairs is that consumers are now faced with a surplus of choice. As a result, consumers are becoming increasingly more demanding when shopping online, and look for trust signals such as reviews, flexible payment gateways and also offers such as free shipping.
Offering Free Shipping
According to a recent study by IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), 69% of over 1000 respondents from a recent survey valued free shipping as a major factor in their buying decisions. However we all know that in some cases, offering free shipping is unrealistic when selling in such a competitive, albeit healthy market.
Due to the demand for competitive shipping rates from online sellers, many firms are seeking ‘pooled volume’ discounted shipping rates. In addition, firms are seeking a multiple carrier solution, to avoid potential mistakes which can occur when an eCommerce retailer relies on a single carrier.
One firm, Parcelhub Limited, provides a multi-carrier parcel delivery solution to over 500 eBay, Amazon, and eCommerce businesses across the UK, experiencing cost savings of as much as 80%. These 500 companies, as of February 2015, ship over 4 million parcels per year combined, and range from small online sellers sending 10 parcels a day, all the way up to some of the UK’s largest Amazon sellers, shipping in excess of 5000 items a day.
Due to the struggle, and demise of carriers such as City Link (who were previously shipping over 60 million parcels per year), combined with the healthy growth of the eCommerce sector, the firm experienced growth of 40% in 2014.
In addition, there are further benefits to your business integrating with carrier management software:
- Massive savings
- Less reliance on one courier
- Provide more choice for the buyer
- Integration with multiple eCommerce platforms
- Multi-carrier services have a ‘deeper, more robust understanding of the couriers’ protocols’
In conclusion, the currently volatile, but positive eCommerce environment has made a multi-carrier solution all the more relevant, and has seen a sharp increase in online retailers, mail order firms and bricks-and-mortar retailers diversifying their carrier options.