Shipping, Shipping, Shipping

I’m sure you have heard that the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location. Well, having recently returned from the Internet Retailers Conference and Exhibit (IRCE), labeled the ‘world’s largest e-commerce event,” what seems to be the three most important factors in e-commerce are shipping, shipping, shipping. An article by Abby Callard from Internet Retailer points out how small e-commerce websites are forced to compete with the likes of Amazon Prime.

In the era of free and same-day shipping, e-retailers at IRCE 2014 focus on how to keep up with the big boys. “You can ruin a brand in a day,” Kirk Meyers, Recreational Equipment Inc.’s corporate social responsibility manager told attendees at IRCE.Meyers wasn’t talking about poor web design or not having the hottest new product or even a lackluster marketing strategy. He was talking about operations—fulfillment and delivery specifically.While not the flashiest of the e-commerce topics discussed at this year’s conference, they are crucial for keeping customers happy. UPS and research firm comScore Inc.’s “Pulse of the Online Shopper” study released during IRCE finds that 54% of shoppers have abandoned a cart due to long estimated delivery times.But even more important than delivery times are the shipping costs. Free shipping still wins, the report says. 58% of consumers have added items to their shopping carts to qualify for free shipping and 83% are willing to wait an additional two days for delivery if shipping is free. More than half of those surveyed say they want to see the total purchase cost—including shipping—early in the checkout process.

TAGG’s fulfillment operations are focused on a 1-to-3 day, non-expedited delivery window. To do this, we are taking advantage of our multiple point distribution system – shipping products from either our Midwest or our West Coast e-commerce fulfillment centers. E-commerce orders are received, picked, packaged and shipped the same day.  With ground delivery times of 1-to-3 days, that means that internet customers will get their product the next day or within a 3-day window – and still keep shipping costs down.

To compete in today’s e-commerce marketplace, it’s shipping, shipping, shipping!