Direct response marketing has a lot of profit-producing potential. However, to protect those coveted profits, you must discover ways to minimize shipping costs whenever possible.
Finding cost-saving opportunities through various DRTV fulfillment and shipping solutions is a near-constant endeavor requiring case-by-case evaluation.
The following three DRTV fulfillment trends are changing the way direct marketers conduct order fulfillment to reduce shipping costs:
- Tweaking Terminology For “Shipping And Handling”
Today, direct response marketing companies are finding ways to balance their shipping costs by adapting the term “shipping and handling” to the more all-encompassing “processing and handling.”
This slight change in marketing terminology creates an opportunity for you to recover the costs of services not included in the term “shipping.”
DRTV fulfillment “processing services” include costs incurred from the following:
• Pulling the inventory for the orders
• Building the shipping box
• Packing the order, including packing materials, packing slips, tape and labels
Keep this in mind: While margins may improve by charging for indirect processing fees, the more indirect the processing charge is, the greater the likelihood for a customer to inquire about the charge.
If that occurs, remember that processing and handling comes down to indirect expenses. To determine your indirect order fulfillment expenses, create a profit-and-loss statement by conducting a fulfillment-costs study. By breaking down your direct and indirect costs in this way, you are able to clearly communicate them to any customer asking what your processing and handling charges entail.
- Utilizing Your Experience With Rush Processing
Rush processing is a DRTV fulfillment option for your customers that speeds up the production of their order, not the shipping method or speed.
The rush processing option bumps up the customer’s place in line for order packing and initiation of postal transit speeds, giving the package the best possible chance of shipping out the same day. Once the order is shipped, standard USPS transit times – based on your selected method (standard shipping, priority mail, express mail, etc.) – still apply.
For example, one of your customers paid for three-day delivery. If you have a warehouse that’s close to this customer’s delivery location, you know you are able to get the package to them in three days using a less expensive seven-day service. The customer gets their package in three days, and you just cut some costs.
Although this particular shipping solution doesn’t apply for every order, it does exemplify how customizable order fulfillment gets an order to save on shipping costs.
- Promoting The “Rush Sticker” Psychology
When your customers pay for rush processing, rush stickers go a long way in making the customer feel that they received value for the extra expense.
Ideally, rush stickers are applied to any package meant for rush processing. Although the customer has no insight into what this means for your order fulfillment process, it does show them that something happened to push their package through your warehouse at a faster than normal pace.
Amazon’s order fulfillment services do not provide the rush sticker option to direct marketers. However, the right order fulfillment company does give you the option to physically apply rush stickers for increased value perception.
The most important thing to remember about rush processing and switching to “processing and handling” terminology is this: To pull it off, you have to ensure every package ordered is delivered on time. That’s the bottom line.
Errors in your shipping process results in very unhappy customers, customer service calls and chargebacks – all things that could be detrimental to your direct response marketing business. Online reviews and social media conversations about a customer’s experience with your business have the potential to permanently damage your brand.
It’s more important than ever to make good on your delivery promises. When you partner with an order fulfillment company that’s experienced in smart, efficient shipping, you are guaranteed to meet your customers’ expectations while also cutting back on shipping costs.
Ready to learn about more shipping solutions for your direct response marketing company? Call 800-808-3304 or click here to speak with a DRTV fulfillment expert at Moulton Fulfillment.