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How to automate shipping and fulfillment

You can automate your shipping and fulfillment straight from your eCommerce site.  Whether you are using Shopify, Etsy or any other platform Action Mail can help automate your shipping to ensure accuracy and efficiency.  The key to setting up automation is to make sure that as much information is included in the back end of your shipping platform as possible.  Sites like Shopify allow you to add information to each product which only be present on the back end of the system.  You should fill out as much information as possible to ensure that your shipping can be automated with this data.  All items should be setup to have unique and consistent SKU which Action Mail can use to identify and fulfill orders.  Action Mail can help you setup the weights, customs information, and shipping rules to ensure your packages are fulfilled quickly and accurately.  You will also want to decide on consistent box and packing materials to expedite the shipping process.

You will also need to setup a set of shipping rules.  You will need to decide how each order type will be packaged as well as which shipment method each order type will be sent as.  You will also need to do the same for shipments with multiple products.  This is not as complicated as it sounds because you can most likely apply the same set of rules to the majority of your products

Action Mail can pull this data from these sites and automatically setup your shipments.  Action Mail will also setup controls to review that shipping rules are working correctly.  Shipping and logisitics can easily be automated but the key is to setup the items, shipping rules, and logisitics properly.  Spending the extra time to setup your eCommerce site will ensure accuracy of order fulfillment and increase efficiency

Save Money on Shipping

There are a number of ways to save money on shipping, but they should all start at the planning stage of your fulfillment project.  The first steps is to determine the requirements of your shipments.  You will need to determine the shipping frequency, the size and weight of your packaging, the number of different products you are shipping (and if any of them are shipped together), the locations you are shipping to, how quickly fulfilled products need to arrive, and if there are any other shipping requirements.

Once you have this data you can determine what the best carriers and modes of shipping will be for your products.  Some products may be eligible for different rates on different carriers. It is helpful to be flexible on the carrier you use in order to reduce shipping costs for different products.  There are also opportunities to reduce shipping costs by having the flexibility to reduce packaging as there are substantial costs savings that can be gained by reducing packaging size and weight.  For example if your package weighs under 1lb it will most likely be most cost effective to send the pieces USPS first class package, but as the piece goes over 1lb the USPS shipping costs increase rapidly.  You can also save money by drop shipping or comingling your shipping, but this often adds to the delivery time which may not be an option for your shipments.

It is best to layout your shipping requirements and identify areas like packaging size and weight, shipping time, and carrier service that you have some flexibility to reduce shipping costs.  Once you have  this information there are a number of different ways you can looking at reducing logistics costs and determine how best to manage your shipments.