With so many literal and figurative moving parts to factor into your shipping strategy, it can be a lot for an ecommerce brand to handle alone. Luckily, ShipMonk has the perfect solution. Three words: Virtual Carrier Network. This shipping solution means our 3PL experts manage relationships, rates, and delivery times for multiple shipping carriers at once so you don’t have to. When you combine this amazing tool with our insider tips and tricks, your ecommerce brand is set up for success, simply.
So enjoy the read, and get ready to take your brand to the next level—because after discovering the difference our VCN can make, you’ll want to work with our team right away. 🙂
Virtual Carrier Network
ShipMonk’s Virtual Carrier Network is an advanced transportation management strategy that ensures orders are delivered on-time at the best possible rate. Our VCN removes the guesswork and workarounds of other 3rd party systems as it’s integrated with the ShipMonk 3PL platform and can be implemented with just a few clicks.
Some fulfillment companies use the generic term “rate shopping” to describe certain areas of transportation management that our VCN covers. The reason we developed the service differently at ShipMonk is because our version takes into account capacity, performance, and other crucial factors outside of the simple rate shopping approach. Put simply, we automatically do the math and choose the shipping method that gets our ecommerce clients the best shipping rates and fastest delivery possible. The benefits of VCN listed out, include:
- Leverage ShipMonk’s Buying Power to Reduce Shipping Costs
- Predictable Spend and Performance Analysis
- Shipping Carrier-agnostic
- Shipping Performance Metrics
- Managed Allocation by Carrier Capacity Constraints
- No Additional Cost
- Effortless Shipping Mapping
Overall, the strategy behind ShipMonk’s VCN is keeping our fulfillment offerings and our ecommerce clients from being handcuffed to any one shipping rate, service, transportation network, etc. Our VCN allows the shipping strategy of your business to pivot and adjust quickly to get the best shipping solutions available. Explore all the awesome benefits of ShipMonk’s Virtual Carrier Network now, to see the huge positive impact it can have on your business and peace of mind.
Additional Tips and Tricks
Test and Adjust
Shipping is like marketing. You need to test, test, and test again to see what resonates and works for your brand goals. This applies to all aspects of your shipping strategy, i.e. the rates, speeds, and reliability you receive from different carriers and services. So don’t be afraid to see what works and what doesn’t. If issues occur, a reliable 3PL like ShipMonk will have your back.
Let ShipMonk Choose Your Shipping Method
After shipping millions of packages, we’ve developed an awesome algorithm that decides which shipping strategy is the most effective and efficient for each destination in the world. If you let us choose your method of shipping, we can leverage our Virtual Carrier Network at the drop of a hat to automatically pick the best method to meet your needs.
Offer Free Shipping
Free shipping is a quick way to a customer’s heart that keeps you competitive. This can be a pricey shipping strategy if not done correctly. Luckily there are many ways to offer free shipping affordably. Do that successfully and you’ll have an edge on other brands. We encourage you to read our ebook on the subject. As a quick preview, one suggestion we can make is to offer free shipping on all your orders, but highlight that another expedited option (like 2-Day shipping) for just a few dollars will get packages to doors faster. By doing this, your brand looks great offering free shipping, but you don’t always have to provide it if a customer places more value on speed than cost.
Delay Shipping Notifications
Customers are often anxious to receive their orders. If you delay shipping notification emails by 24 hours, your customer will get an email with a tracking number that is already in the works. That can help you save time and save face if there is a stall in the supply chain later on.
There’s nothing better than a happy customer who may have received a package a tiny bit earlier than expected because you didn’t over-promise. So be realistic about how long it will take an order to reach someone’s door and (if shipping internationally) how much that will cost. You don’t want angry customers who have to wait an eternity or pay extra duties and tariffs for something they thought they already paid for in full. On the same line, it doesn’t hurt to give your brand a little cushion with how long you’re quoting for a delivery window.
Let the Professionals Handle It
ShipMonk has been a leading logistics provider in the ecommerce industry for many years. If you choose to outsource your order fulfillment to us, you’ll have all the best technology, order management software, integrations, and experienced 3PL professionals on your side to ensure your shipping strategy runs as smoothly as possible!
We Take This Ship Seriously
Shipping is to an ecommerce brand what Costco is to a first-time shopper: a lot to process at the onset. But with the right strategy, and right partner by your side as you head in, that intimidating entity becomes a world of opportunity. We can’t wait to help you conquer the realm of shipping strategy, and any other you set your ecommerce sights on! Contact ShipMonk today to get started.