Shipping

Extract Shipment Tracking Numbers from Multiple Dropship Suppliers

xocbox works with many retailers who rely on email to collect data from their suppliers and shipping providers, and all love the ease and simplicity of working with emails.  Emails offer infinite flexibility for the sender, but trying to extract uniform information from multiple providers is not as easy for the recipient.

One example of how xocbox is helping its customers is where an ecommerce store selling dropship products switched from using their own shipper to those of their suppliers, and asked for our help.

The retailer was receiving hundreds of emails throughout the day from all their suppliers’ shipping carriers, but the information varied from shipper to shipper making it difficult for the retailer to tie the tracking number to the order, as most of the notifications did not reference the order number, the main point of reference for the retailer.

xocbox was able to parse the information from the various emails and match the customer name to the order eliminating the need for an employee to go through every email and manually match it to the order.

xocbox can now parse data from incoming emails and, based on your requirements, process the data to integrate with other systems or applications that you work with in order to carry out specific tasks, thus eliminating hours of data entry.

If you love working with emails, but wish they could do just a little more without your help, contact xocbox today.  Call 858-752-3803 or email info@xocbox.com.

 

receiving emails
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Same Day Delivery Shipping Wars Heat Up

In December 2017 we learned that Target had acquired Shipt for $550m in order to let Target customers order groceries and other products online and have them shipped to their home addresses from nearby Target stores.

The goal of this acquisition is to allow Target to offer same day delivery from approximately half of its stores by mid-2018, adding even more stores by the holiday season.

Not all categories of products will be included but it will start with groceries, electronics and other household goods and plans to include all product groups by the end of 2019.

Today Bloomberg reported that Amazon is considering acquiring some of the properties left vacant by the recent bankruptcy of Toys R Us. There is no information on what exactly Amazon plans to do with these stores, but it could continue to expand its bricks and mortar store operations and expand its bookstores which also serve as retail outlets for its Echo devices.

Another possibility for Amazon is that the acquisition of more retail outlets would allow for a bigger network to place inventory closer to where shoppers live, and would allow faster delivery to ecommerce shoppers in more areas.

Amazon has already placed merchants under pressure with the amazing speed and success of its Prime delivery, and as Amazon’s advancement with drone deliveries continues, the competition to keep up with faster delivery times grows more fierce.

Amazon’s goal is to develop a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can deliver packages to shoppers in under 30 minutes, and today it was reported that it has been granted a patent for a delivery drone that can respond to human gestures, with the hope that this will help Amazon to figure out how drones will interact with customers who are in the vicinity of their doorsteps.

Walmart’s approach is slightly different, but equally important. Walmart announced that it is planning to put Fedex Office locations in 500 of its stores over a two year period. Not only will they provide the usual FedEx services, but Walmart customers can also have online orders that are being delivered by FedEx held at a Walmart store for pick up.

As big box retailers think or more ways to get products to our doorsteps in the quickest possible time, the shipping challenge continues for niche online stores to compete.

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Amazon robots lead to better fulfillment

image of robot

Amazon revealed today that it had deployed 15,000 robots in ten of its fulfillment centers throughout the US. This will allow Amazon to increase the performance of its already super fast fulfillment centers.

After purchasing Kiva Systems Inc, a logistical provider of robot technology, Amazon anticipated it would have approximately 10,000 in centers by 2015. The retail giant estimates that the introduction of robots will not only increase the speed of fulfilling orders, but also eventually reduce operating costs by as much as $450 million.

Amazon is really raising the standard for retailers with super-fast shipping, and super-fast fulfillment. So what can smaller retailers to do attract buyers to their store when confronted with this competition?

Small businesses need to automate as many of their processes as possible to improve the service they offer to shoppers, and also to free up some of the time their associates would otherwise spend on routine tasks.

Retail predictions for 2015 are betting on a customer-centric year, where customer service, customer interaction with products and services and custom items for customers are a high priority. Small and medium sized businesses focusing on personalized products can make a big impression on shoppers with superlative service and the clever use of technology.

Contact xocbox to learn about automating your business processes.

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Free Shipping

shipping options in store

I have just returned from the WooConference 2014 in San Francisco, and came away with lots of ideas and information.

With a host of great speakers, we didn’t know what to expect, and the interesting thing is they all offered great new ideas, and reiterated some of the concepts we know we should all be offering.

One of the things all store owners must be thinking about at this time of year is Free Shipping, and is it really worth it? Well the answer is, a big YES!

Speaker after speaker mentioned the value of having free shipping available in your online store.

One speaker stated that 73% will shop with Free shipping offered, and that 90% will buy more from your store if free shipping is offered.

Another speaker said that research showed 44% of shoppers will drop out without free shipping, and go elsewhere.

So how can you make free shipping work for your store?

If you can’t sell all your products with free shipping, try offering free shipping on the total value of an order over a given amount, such as $100. This not only attracts shoppers, but entices them to spend over the $100 amount in order to benefit from the shipping offer.

Another way is to offer free shipping on products that you are planning to mark down in the next few days / weeks. You may sell them at full price, simply because you are offering free shipping.

Try offering free shipping on combined purchases in a certain category or categories.

Set up an email campaign offering free shipping to those who buy a product / products before a certain date.  This way you will benefit from receiving revenue quicker.

Show a FREE SHIPPING label on your home page, so shoppers know it is available as soon as they land on your store. If possible, have free shipping in your header, so it appears on every page.

There is no question that competition is stiff in the online marketplace, but free shipping is here to stay and it is what shoppers have come to expect, not just from the big box stores, but from any online store or marketplace.

So don’t despair – in the long run, the more you sell, the better rates you can negotiate with your shipping service, so figuring out how to get started is crucial to your ongoing success.

Why not start by talking to your local shipping store?  By passing more work their way, you may be able to solve your own shipping problems as well.

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