As a marketer, you may feel like you’re at the mercy of the major freight delivery companies. And yet, while you can’t negotiate their pricing, you can indeed have some control over how your materials get shipped.
When it comes to online shopping, the more options you’re given about shipping, the more cost-effective your decisions will be.
This is a huge deal with marketing portals. Picture your national – or global – sales team ordering welcome kits, promotional items, training booklets, and trade show materials from your portal. They’re placing orders for potentially heavy shipments 7 days a week, and while some are date sensitive and MUST be delivered ASAP, most have a more relaxed delivery timeline.
Now consider this: shipping costs often constitute the largest part of a shopping cart experience.
According to Ryan Goodrich in his piece entitled, “5 Ways to Prevent eCommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment,” of the 65 percent of shoppers who abandon their cart, a Forrester study indicates that 44 percent of those instances are because of high shipping costs.”
Now, your sales team and others who shop from your portal aren’t necessarily going to abandon their cart due to high shipping costs, but those three words should ring in every marketers’ ears. Your company is going to bear the expense. Maybe it will be charged back to a specific cost center/department, or maybe the individual will be charged. Either way, freight costs are a bear to be wrestled with.
In a survey conducted by Pitney Bowes, they found that “80 percent of American consumers consider shipping options, including free shipping, to be an important factor in their overall shopping experience.” People take shipping costs seriously. Marketers do, too.
The solution for controlling freight costs associated with purchases from your marketing portal lies in a real-time shipping calculator.
A real-time shipping calculator integrated with your portal’s shopping cart means that every item added to the cart has its weight tracked – down to the sheet of paper in a training manual.
Once all of the items are in this virtual cart, the system then estimates the projected total weight per ship-to address. Your marketing portal should be connected to tables hosted by a major freight company, like FedEx, so that each order’s data (dimension and weight) is sent to them in the background.
The system should have multiple shipping options built in (i.e., ground, 2nd day, 3rd day, same day), so that
FedEx can come back and offer fairly accurate pricing for each shipping option.
There’s another feature your portal should have in the shopping cart section: a calendar on the check-out page that shows the date/s on which the shipments will be delivered based on the specific shipping method. When your shopper determines when materials should be delivered, the system will then update the shipping cost.
This is truly “shipping Intelligence” at your fingertips. This important feature of a marketing portal gives you the opportunity to shop freight and pick the best method. It also allows you to allocate costs and shop smart.
Shipping is often where the real cost lies when ordering materials off a portal, and this feature built into a portal helps marketers manage it.
So look for a marketing portal that offers a real-time shipping calculator. It means you can minimize, track, itemize, and, as needed, pass on all freight costs.