Smart e-retailers look inward to control what they can by constantly improving the entire customer service experience. But many still operate with only a ‘rough idea’ of their true cost of shipping. Instead of accurate, real-time data, they live with uncertainty. They don’t know until it’s too late if their shipping charges are too low and losing money or too high and driving customers to abandon their shopping carts. They don’t know if their method is draining revenue or hiding a profit center. 

    For e-retailers, these unknowns become a barrier to smart decision-making, innovative thinking and savvy promotion. Without a grip on true cost, leveraging shipping into a superior promotional or marketing tool is risky. In reality, it can be measured economically and effortlessly.

    Consider the following when evaluating a solution that can improve your profitability:
    • Leveraging a cloud-based tool that can quickly be deployed, providing an accurate shipping cost for each and every parcel, while at the same time tracking variation to trends
    • Using a rate engine for predictive analysis to determine the true cost of shipping prior to a promotion, allowing you to assess the costs and benefits of a shipping-related promotion
    • Changing shipping from an uncertain shortfall to an identifiable profit center 

    “This tool also enables e-retailers to overcome the ‘hidden secrets’ of parcel costs and make more informed decisions,” says Dan Coppersmith, Technology Director for enVista. “For e-retailers who use free shipping to drive sales, this knowledge is extremely valuable.” Without this instantaneous rate-check, that savings and others could be missed, needlessly driving up the cost of a promotion and reducing profit.

    Robust solutions of this nature turn the unknown into reliable, timely data. This knowledge enables e-retailers to maximize profit, cut costs, improve customer service and compete formidably in this increasingly complex marketplace, all for pennies a parcel.

    Doug Kahl is a Vice President with enVista, a comprehensive supply chain consulting and leading transportation services management organization. Doug can be reached at, 602-334-6233, or visit enVista at the Parcel Forum, Booth #516 in Chicago, October