As the holidays approach, most retail companies are gearing up for an increase in sales. To maximize the potential of the holiday season and continue it into the New Year, it is a good time to consider alternative shipping options. Implementing the right parcel strategy can make the difference between remaining competitive and falling into the shadows of other Omni-channel retailers. Knowing which shipping options to choose and why can be complicated, but for many retailers with both online and brick-and-mortar stores, one shipping option is very attractive to the retailer and customer: site-to-store shipping.
While this year’s third-quarter numbers are not in yet, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported an 18.4% year over year growth in e-commerce sales. This is the highest jump since late 2007. Expect the spike in growth to continue as we enter the 2013 holiday season. The combination of mobile devices and customer confidence has enabled many consumers to make the easy transition to purchase products online. In fact, offering an online shopping option may no longer be an issue of competitive advantage but one of survival. Whether retailers are already selling online or just branching out from a brick-and-mortar operation, sales will be greatly impacted by e-commerce in the latter part of 2013. Retailers still have time to capture a portion of this year’s holiday shopping dollars — predicted to be more than $80 billion for the fourth quarter of 2013.
Amazon and the US Postal Service (USPS) recently announced a partnership to deliver online packages on Sunday in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas (including parts of NJ and CT). The deal will take effect immediately and comes just in time for the 2013 busy holiday shopping season. Now that personal travel is ramping up and holiday parties nearing, an extra delivery day (especially on the weekend) is really convenient for many online shoppers. In 2014 Amazon is expected to expand Sunday deliveries in other select US cities including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix. Amazon will not charge extra for the service and free Sunday delivery is offered to both Prime and Non-Prime (as long as the $35 order threshold is met) members.
FedEx is now offering a new shipping program that provides small businesses and residential consumers in the U.S. with a flat rate option for express shipments. Although the new FedEx One Rate program is not competing directly with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) priority shipping flat-rate options, it will provide an alternative to small businesses and consumers who need to maximize shipping volume without increasing cost. The rate is calculated based on how quickly the package needs to arrive, how far it’s going, and how it is packaged, and not the package’s weight. Thus, the new program will benefit someone who needs to ship ball bearings more than someone who needs to ship ping pong balls.
Inc. Magazine published their annual list of 2013 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the U.S. and BirdDog Solutions is ranked once again. For the past seven years, BirdDog has experienced steady growth as a company due to its existing customers (thank you), innovative parcel solutions and industry expertise.