There's something so satisfying about opening a box and revealing the contents inside. It's so good that people now film their "unboxing" experiences for others to watch online. Popular unboxing videos generate millions of hits and are shared throughout social media by enthusiastic fans. While encouraging customers to participate in the unboxing phenomenon provides valuable marketing opportunities, this must be balanced with smart shipping strategies.
Bigger Isn't Always Better
Sending boxes through the mail will typically cost more than sending soft plastic envelopes. Most e-commerce retailers understand this, but many don't realize the type of box they use can also impact the cost. Small variations in size can considerably influence the price you'll pay to ship your goods.
The process of efficiently handling returns is known as reverse logistics. Though it's easy to see reverse logistics as an immediate loss, there are many ways that you can minimize the damage associated with a product return. When reverse logistics are handled well, you can retain your customers and minimize expenses. If you don't know how well your 3PL is dealing with reverse logistics right now, ask these questions to find out.
Does Your 3PL Have Experience With Apparel Returns?
Most people don't like thinking about the necessary evil of handling the apparel supply chain backward because there aren't many winners in this situation. The customer is returning a product he was dissatisfied with, your supplier has an excess item back on their hands, and the cost of packaging and shipping the product is lost.
Dimensional weight is a key phrase that shippers need to be acutely aware of. Packages are no longer priced based on their actual weight if they're particularly large and light. Dimensional weight calculations can leave you paying a premium for empty space in each box if you're not careful about your apparel shipping strategies.
Understanding Dimensional Weight
Dimensional weight applies a standardized minimum shipping weight to packages based on their size. If a package weighs more than its dimensional weight, the shipping cost is based on the actual weight. However, if it weighs less, shippers must pay for the dimensional weight rather than the actual weight.
Before carriers used dimensional weight, you could minimize your expenses simply by packing lightly, regardless of how big the box was. This left shipping companies at a disadvantage when they provided ample storage space for a box that was mostly packing peanuts and therefore very cheap to ship. Dimensional weight allows carriers to charge more appropriately for space that a package takes up.
Cloud-based order fulfillment systems are becoming a standard choice for today's top companies. Utilizing the transparency, accessibility, and scalability of the cloud makes it easier than ever to climb to the top of your niche with a minimal investment. You no longer need a storefront, large office, or big bank of servers to run a large apparel company. Turn to the cloud, and success is easier than ever.
Today's supply chains operate more reactively than proactively in trend-driven markets like apparel. It's important to respond quickly to this sensitive market, chasing demand and providing product quickly. In a complex supply chain comprised of materials providers, manufacturers, and partners, it's difficult to keep up with every step of the process using traditional methods.
This is where cloud management comes in. Tracking production and shipping in the cloud offers complete transparency and real-time updates. You can monitor every step of the process from start to finish. With complete end-to-end tracking, you can easily stay on top of your apparel supply chain for lightning-quick reactions to customer demand and changing trends.
As April 18 looms, more American businesses are turning their attention to taxes and cash flow. Whether you're stressed about the impending deadline or wondering how you can get a leg up on next year's tax season, you may wonder whether using a third-party logistics (3PL) provider could help your business.
Partnering With a 3PL Provider Reduces Your Tax Pressure
As a partner in your business, your 3PL provider can help to alleviate your tax burden. You are only responsible for reporting activity you directly oversee. With less to do at tax time, it's much easier for your firm to stay organized.