How much extra sales growth could you deliver with more complete and accurate quotes for shipping costs? What if those freight quotes could include expanded options such as LTL / freight service or even low-cost regional parcel delivery? Even if we only look at the impact on ecommerce sales alone, there are three consistent themes in almost every source of research: 1) shipping charges kill sales conversions, 2) unexpected shipping costs are the number one reason for shopping cart abandonment, and 3) abandon rates are between 20-30%. Today's post takes a closer look at how to improve freight quoting and includes a demo video of how to use the Pacejet API with the Pacejet network of parcel, LTL, 3PL carriers to better answer the question "how much will it cost to ship?"
Better Data, Real-Time Connectivity, and More Choice
Most ecommerce, WMS, or ERP systems have at least some basic method of estimating the cost of shipments, but most "freight calculators" were built with the previous generation of software systems and haven't kept up with major changes in the shipping industry. To really get an accurate grip on shipping costs, consider the following key capabilities as you look to upgrade freight quoting in your systems:
- Real-Time Carrier Connectivity: Real-time connectivity has replaced tariff-based calculations as the best-practice foundation for freight quoting. Negotiated rates, dynamic pricing by carriers, and accurate contract updates are just a few key reasons connectivity matters.
- Real-Time Data: The price of fuel is an example of a rapidly changing data factor that can impact your freight quotes. Improved freight quoting should automatically update changing price factors without a lot of overhead on system administrators.
- Configurable Markup Rules: As your customer base grows, your product line diversifies, and you ship to more international locations you will want more configurable markup rules that can inspect details like items, addresses, and customers to markup carrier costs per your business objectives.
- Smart Auto Packing: Freight calculators that use only weight can underestimate shipping costs by 30% or more, so make sure your quoting tools can automatically inspect the items in an order to estimate the packaging of shipments.
- Special Services: More carriers offer special services like lift gate, inside delivery, white glove delivery, Saturday delivery and much more. If your customers expect or need any of these services, your freight quotes need to seamlessly and easily include appropriate factors in the freight quotes they obtain from your carriers.
- Expanded Carrier Choice: Improved choice is one of the best ways to reduce your shipping costs and help support more rapid sales growth. Even if you only shift a portion of your shipments for certain geographies or customers, savings can be big for you and customers.
- Integration with Ecommerce, ERP, WMS: Consistent integration across all of your sales channels will provide the maximum boost to all of your sales efforts, so look for open options to integrate freight quoting consistently everywhere you need it.
Video Demo of Freight Quotes via Pacejet API
The Pacejet API is a RESTful integration technology that allows any software or cloud application to tap into the quoting and shipping features of Pacejet. This video demo highlights use of the RATES endpoint in the Pacejet API for better freight quotes as a service that can easily be connected with the systems you use to run your business.
Interested in using Pacejet quoting and shipping integrated with your application or just want to learn more? Check out other articles on the Pacejet blog or feel free to reach out with a question, the Pacejet team is ready to help.