Use shipping automation to save time this holiday season (with 3 examples)

2022-09-26

Written by David Renwick

Peak season is nearly here. From Black Friday through to Christmas, retailers big and small can expect to see higher order volumes, more website traffic and more opportunity to create loyal customers.

As always, the same advice holds true: Take the time now to make sure your business is up to scratch and ready for the busy period. Ensure your website can handle the increased number of visitors and set up your shipping and fulfilment to save time, cut down on costs and get more orders out the door.

Optimisation – especially when it comes to shipping – may be more important this year than ever before. Ongoing economic uncertainty may mean that 2022 isn’t the gangbusters year that 2021 was. For retailers, now is certainly the right time to make their businesses as lean and efficient as possible.

In this article, we’re going to look at how shipping automation could make a world of difference to your shipping and fulfilment as we head into peak season.

The risks of the status quo

Make hay while the sun is shining.

Pandemic-related issues aside, wise is the retailer who looks for ways to improve their business before they’re forced to. When moving goods online, shipping automation is perhaps the most effective way you can make huge positive changes in your business.

Why? Because automation helps you do more with less. You can:

  • 📍 Reduce manual errors – Automatically correct invalid addresses.
  • 👷 Reduce staff workload – Automate document generation, including shipping labels, packing slips, and customs documents.
  • 🌐 Save time and increase oversight – Run your shipping, online orders and couriers all from one dashboard, even if you ship from multiple locations.
  • 📊 Gain new insights from your data – Using a fulfilment automation platform lets you access the analytics, meaning you can identify areas that are letting you down, like a particular courier.
  • 📈 Scale easily – Software scales with you, especially when it’s cloud-based. Growing your order volumes? Simply change your plan and keep growing.

Keep reading to learn how real businesses put shipping automation in place to achieve exactly what we’ve just outlined.

How can you automate shipping?

Introducing a shipping automation platform is as easy as signing up online, using ready-to-go integrations to plug in your couriers and eCommerce platforms, and then shipping your first label.

With the right software, your team can save up to 80% of their time by automating fulfilment tasks such as generating labels, selecting couriers, validating addresses, custom forms and sending tracking notifications.

Fulfilment automation software can also serve as the one link between your eCommerce platform and couriers, saving you jumping between courier websites as you try to track down orders. Instead, you can have one dashboard that automatically pulls through orders and writebacks the necessary information.

Removing manual tasks eliminates human errors, which keeps your orders moving. As your order volumes increase, automation will be the reason you’re able to continue to dispatch orders.

What’s more, shipping automation helps you deliver items quickly and without any hiccups. It's important to get this right because the shipping experience has a direct impact on a customer's decision to return to your store.

See shipping automation in practice: 3 examples from retailers

There’s no shortage of shipping automation platforms available, but it’s important to select one with the right mix of features and integrations with the couriers and platforms you’re using. If possible, try and select a platform that also offers an API – allowing you to build out your own integrations if required.

Here’s how three different retailers use Starshipit to automate their shipping and fulfilment.

Case study: How Urban Plant Growers set automatic shipping rules to save on shipping costs

Sydney-based online store Urban Plant Growers uses Starshipit to automate the fulfilment process (from checkout to delivery, including returns).

One feature they make use of is the rules engine. They set up rules based on the cheapest delivery option available and let customers compare shipping options with Starshipit’s live rates at checkout. This automation enables online them to play to their couriers’ strengths as they can toggle between services.

"It’s easy for the warehouse team to use and fits well with a Shopify-based store,syncs perfectly with all our other platforms and is scalable for growth. It’s an effective platform with a lot of automation when you look at all the features." – Dilhan Wickremanayake, Co-Founder of Urban Plant Growers
Read the full case study

Case study: How Lorna Jane prepares for busy sale seasons with shipping automation

Australian activewear retailer Lorna Jane implemented Starshipit just in time for Black Friday 2021 when, for the first time in the company’s history, the busiest day of the year was calm and ordered.

Starshipit’s shipping solution simplified the process of getting orders out the door, which made for a largely stress-free day.

“Black Friday was a breeze this year. It was an absolute pleasure. The fruits of all the work that we did really paid off in our busiest time. We pretty much cruised through – but pumped out significant amounts more.” — Danny Hancock, Global Operations Manager, Lorna Jane.
Read the full case study

Case study: How Mountain Culture deliver great shipping experiences every time

Australian brewpub Mountain Culture started selling online at the beginning of 2020 and needed a shipping solution that was easy to implement and could work with their courier (Sendle). Now, Starshipit handles the shipping basics for Mountain Culture without asking too much of their staff, or their time.

In addition to making it easy to get orders out the door, Mountain Culture relies on Starshipit to make the shipping experience easy for end-customers – something that’s important for their brand.

“People can have a great experience in our bar with our bar staff, but when they buy online they need something else. That’s why you need to care about shipping.” – Harriet McCready, Co-founder, Mountain Culture.
Read the full case study

Starshipit: Automate your shipping and deliver great experiences across peak season

Save time and money on every order this holiday season. When you use smart shipping software, backed up by a knowledgeable team of shipping experts, you can reduce stress and get more orders out the door.

Why use Starshipit? You can access industry-leading automations, integrations and workflows to create world-class shipping, no matter the size of your business. Give your customers a choice at checkout, simplify your returns process and create a branded delivery experience that’s sure to bring customers back.

David Renwick

David Renwick

David is Starshipit's Content Marketing Lead. When he's not whipping up a fresh new product update or chatting to customers for an exciting case study, you'll typically find him scoping out coffee spots and talking about what's on at the movies.

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