Shipping data is the key to understanding your business’s performance. Whether you’re looking to improve performance, have more competitive pricing, or make forecasting predictions, shipping data can point out where there is room for improvement. And by using this data to influence decisions, you can know you are taking a sound approach to better your business.
You can use many different metrics to measure your shipping data and even more methods to implement them into your logistics practices. Here are several points to consider when analyzing your data and how you can use them to enhance your business.
Keeping track of how many orders are processed and shipped may seem obvious, but this data can offer valuable insights into your logistical operations. Breaking this information down by quarter, month, week, and even individual days can help identify trends that can help your business plan for the future more efficiently.
Based on this information, you can recognize how prepared you need to be for holidays or make plans to help bolster your business during slow periods. Throughout different times of the year, a business may also require additional labor and transportation needs. Keeping an eye on total orders throughout the year can help plan and budget for these changes as they arise.
Looking at your order picking accuracy can help gauge a better feel for your customer satisfaction and find errors in your fulfillment process. This data point measures how many orders are correctly fulfilled – meaning that they aren’t returned. To determine this number, you divide the number of orders accurately picked by the total number of orders fulfilled in a given time.
To boost these numbers, you can put more quality control measures in place when fulfilling orders, like optimizing your warehouse layout, adding more automation into the picking process, performing regular inspections, and analyzing errors when they do occur. Improving your picking accuracy can reduce costly returns, improve customer retention, and improve your overall workflow by reducing errors.
Shipping is a major cost for e-commerce businesses that also has a direct impact on customer conversions. According to Statistica, free delivery was the top factor that convinced online shoppers to buy in 2020. By keeping your shipping costs as low as possible, you can save money and gain more business.
There are a few ways to approach your shipping strategy. It’s best to start the process by examining your current process. What are your current shipping costs? How much of that do your customers pay? How do your rates compare to the competition? Do you use multiple carriers?
Every business is different. Some find success with flat rate shipping and others prefer table-based shipping – at EasyPost, we recommend multi-carrier shipping. Our technology combines information from hundreds of carriers, like UPS, USPS, and FedEx, so you can compare rates and transit times to find the best shipping option for your business. By comparing different carriers, you know you are getting the best rates available, helping you and your customers save money on shipping.
Parcel tracking data can provide useful information for both you and your customer. A reliable order tracking system updates the package location based on every update throughout its delivery journey. On the business side of things, it’s beneficial to know where your packages are to give reliable customer service when questions do arrive. It can also help you get a better feel for how reliable your carriers actually are in their deliveries and open the door to change if you’re looking to switch to another one.
This data can also be a means to provide your customers with a personalized online experience. Nearly 70% of consumers said the ability to track orders when buying online was one of their top three priorities when choosing where to buy, according to Metapack’s Global eCommerce Consumer Research Report.
More and more online shoppers are looking for a quick turnaround on delivery. Amazon Prime has made two-day delivery the expectation. Statista found that in 2019 40% of U.S. holiday shoppers were willing to wait two days for their orders with fast shipping. Since then, same-day shipping has become even more popular and will likely become a more significant factor for shoppers.
Improving your delivery performance starts with looking closer at your carriers. Are they meeting their on-time delivery expectations? How do their rates compare to the competition? Do they make it easy to track where your package is located?
If you are satisfied with your carrier’s performance, continue to develop your relationships with them. Down the road, that could lead to better rates and other benefits. However, if you aren’t satisfied with your delivery performance, it might be time to bring other carriers into the mix.
Data can transform your business
It’s easy to say that businesses should use their shipping data to influence their decisions, but it’s less common than you might think. The Harvard Business Review found that, on average, less than half of a business’s structured data is used in decision-making. And unstructured data is rarely analyzed or used at all – coming in at less than one percent.
As shipping logistics continue to increase, customers expect retailers to keep up with the pace. The answer to pulling off two-day and even same-day deliveries lives in your shipping data. You can find ways to save both you and your customers time and money by digging in.