Learn How To Choose The Right Subscription Shipping Services For Your Shopify Store
If you’re running a subscription business, chances are you’re constantly working toward perfecting your products and services.
And you might have done it well!
But while most businesses are perfecting their products and services, they tend to overlook an important (although mundane and uninteresting) part of subscription businesses—shipping.
What is a subscription box shipping carrier?
Once you have your subscription products and services ready, the next big task is to ensure it reaches the customers. And that’s what shipping carriers do. Shipping carriers are logistics services that deliver your subscription boxes to customers.
Shipping carriers are a critical aspect:
- It ensures products reach customers on time and in good condition
- It’s a big cost to subscription businesses that can increase over time and impact the pricing of your subscription plans, too
- Shipping prices affect profit margins
- Shipping carriers affect the overall customer experience of your subscription business
Why is it important to have a subscription box shipping partner?
Whether it’s a one-off sale business or a subscription model, ecommerce businesses require shipping partners—to deliver subscription boxes.
However, subscription logistics should be treated as more critical, because customers have got associated with your business on a long-term basis. You must understand why your subscription shipping carrier is so important.
1. To ensure timely deliveries
Today, fast deliveries are thought to be one of the most powerful competitive advantages for businesses—think fast pizza deliveries and 30-minute delivery promises.
While subscription businesses don’t fall for these dangerous traps, they do want to be known as brands that have their delivery game sorted. Because you don’t want to see your customer unhappy or complaining.
Having dedicated subscription box fulfillment services can ensure a seamless shipping process for your business.
2. Optimizing cost
Subscription businesses are made up of many aspects, which can take up significant resources to keep the business running. For example, a fully-functional website, payment gateway, a mobile app, marketing and sales, packaging, shipping, etc.
It’s a must to make each of these functions manageable while not adding to your costs. Having shipping carriers that provide efficient services at competitive costs can help smooth functioning and thereby not adding to costs.
For example, delayed deliveries would mean an increase in customer service calls. That means you’ll need resources to respond to customer queries, follow up, send prompt communication, etc., which can significantly add up the cost.
3. Differentiated and better customer experience
Timely and safe deliveries are a crucial part of subscription businesses, and can make or break customer experience. In the competitive world of subscriptions, customers expect sticky and personalized experiences. Brands that fail to deliver these could lose customers. A seamless shipping experience can be the differentiating factor for customers to choose whether to stick or to leave.
4. Improve brand perception
80% of online shoppers consider shipping as the most important aspect of their online shopping experience. How can you leverage shipping to influence your brand perception:
- Create a shipping strategy based on goals
- Understand customers’ shipping preference for each demographic
- Enable different types of subscription box shipping options for customers
- Automate the shipping process, subscription mailers, etc.
5. Better management of subscription orders
Logistics and shipping can get quite complicated if not managed well. And the complications can trickle down to all the related processes. For example, how soon your shipping status gets updated will affect your inventory—how soon you must restock products.
A strategically thought shipping plan can help you ease your subscription management tasks and orders. With automation, simplified integrations, scaling capabilities, etc., you can enhance the way you manage your subscriptions business.
The above factors make it clear why optimizing shipping is critical. And for that you need to make thought-through decisions of which subscription box shipping partners you must choose to work with.
How to choose a subscription box shipping carrier?
Businesses cannot afford to trust shipping carriers that end up damaging or losing their subscription boxes. Following up to investigate damage and loss of delivery products can be a huge task and a waste of time and resources of businesses. Choosing a shipping partner that prioritizes safety of goods is a must for subscription businesses.
2. Timely delivery
69% of customers stop shopping from retailers that fail to deliver products on time. Shipping companies that delay deliveries could lead to bad customer experience and impact customer loyalty. Ecommerce subscription businesses need to ensure their subscription box shipping partners are capable of timely deliveries, come rain or shine.
3. Reputation and reliability
Whether you’re launching a new subscription business or running an established one, partnering with a shipping company that’s known for its reputation and reliability will shield your business against several risks. It’s better to partner with a reputed shipping company than a totally new one you aren’t sure about.
4. Coverage and location
Logistics companies specialize in location and geographical coverage. For example, a company that uses third-party delivery services might mean there’s no way to track delayed or lost deliveries. This can harm your business. Choose subscription box fulfillment service partners based on their location and coverage capabilities.
McKinsey suggests selecting partners based on capability, strategic goals, and value potential. This is where areas of expertise come into the picture. Some shipping carriers specialize in specific types of products, for example, perishable edible items. Choose delivery partners depending on the nature of your products and logistical requirements.
Subscription box shipping charges can cost your business a lot. For instance, you might have promised free shipping to subscribers, but fluctuating delivery costs can adversely impact your revenue and profits. It’s wise to choose a shipping partner that offers competitive prices along with good service.
In the age of instant gratification, delivery speed matters a lot to customers. Customers expect fast deliveries. Moreover, they expect precise information as opposed to ambiguous delivery dates, such as, ‘Delivering soon’. 47% of customers avoid re-ordering from brands when there’s a lack of delivery transparency.
8. Technology capability
While you might be using the most advanced tools to run your Shopify subscriptions business, if your shipping carrier partner isn’t up to speed with their tech capabilities, it might impact your delivery functions. Moreover, it’s important that their tools integrate into your subscription tools easily.
9. Customer service
You must consider the customer service capabilities and quality when choosing your subscription shipping partner. The customer service capabilities can impact how soon you can resolve customer issues and keep your customers satisfied with prompt resolutions to their shipping issues.
10. Ability to scale as you grow
Every business aims to grow—more customers, subscriptions and orders. And so, you need to work with a shipping box fulfillment service provider that shares the same growth targets as you. Because if they don’t, you might miss out on sales opportunities or might have to invest in rebuilding your logistics flow with a new service provider that can prove to be a humongous task.
Best logistics partners for Shopify stores
One of the largest in the USA, UPS caters to international shipping. Its web-based platform enables customers to generate shipping labels, schedule pickups, send delivery status notifications, etc.
One of the most renowned shipping services in the world, FedEx, founded in the USA, maintains the largest shipping networks the world over.
Another leading subscription box shipping service is by USA-based DHL. The company boasts of having the largest network spanning 220 countries across the world, including air, sea, and surface.
The company partners with B2B brands to deliver wholesale orders and DTC brands for retail order shipping orders across 40+ global locations. Moreover, it allows users to choose same-day delivery and delivery speed of their choice.
USPS is a government-owned shipping agency in the US. It is one of the biggest logistics companies in the country servicing domestic and international deliveries. The company also offers related services such as insurance, reverse logistics, cash on delivery, etc.
EasyShip is another subscription box shipping option—an app that helps you compare shipping costs, delivery times, and choose the best delivery options for your subscription business.
7. C H Robinson Logistics Firm
Well known for its international freight service capabilities, the company, C H Robinson Logistics Firm allows businesses to use services such as FTL (full truckload), FCL (full container load), among others.
8. Kuehne + Nagel
The USA-based company is known for sea transportation networks and also provides air, rail and surface services. It offers warehousing, project logistics, custom clearance, and supply chain management services, among others.
9. BlueEx Logistics
This Shopify app is designed to enable bulk order processing for ecommerce logistics. The app provides multiple solutions for different logistics services.
10. Joom Logistics
Specializing in global B2C delivery, Joom Logistics offers unified first-mile solutions for global shipping. The app allows users to choose from 70+ shipping companies worldwide.
11. XPO Logistics
A leading logistics solutions provider in the USA, XPO Logistics offers surface transport services such as LTF, FTL, etc. The company enables businesses to outsource logistics operations, facilitates cross-border commerce, global freight forwarding, and last-mile delivery services.
The logistics solutions company founded in the US offers services including LTL, FTL, intermodal logistics, bulk transport, and specialized transportation. It also offers carrier brokerage services, warehousing and international shipping services.
The shipping solution, netParcel, allows users to compare and choose shipping providers in Canada and regional countries. The company boasts of competitive shipping prices.
Ceva is a global supply chain management and logistics service provider based in the USA. It operates across 160 countries.
15. GreenLine Logistics
GreenLine Logistics boasts of a fully automated shipping process such as subscription mailers, updates, easy set up and integrations, and automatic sync.
16. GLS Iberia
This shipping solution allows you to set your shipping rates, create and print shipping labels, control and track your shipments through the app that integrates with Shopify websites. It covers the regions of Spain and Portugal.
17. GO Shipping
Go Shipping, operating in Spain, integrates shipments with your Shopify store, allows users to track shipments in real time, provides same day local deliveries and next day national deliveries, among other services.
18. FineCom Logistics
Fine Com Logistics shipping app that serves users in Germany, helps keep orders organized, easily adapts to different user needs, offers flexibility and is fully automated.
19. DCL Logistics and Fulfillment
The app allows 24/7 real-time orders, direct connection to fulfillment centers in the US, Canada and Europe and quick shipping across six facilities in the US.
20. Candid Wholesale
Candid Wholesale, a US-based logistics solutions company, syncs products, inventory and organizes orders. The app helps create a link between B2B and B2C logistics operations.
21. Packlink PRO
Packlink PRO is a Europe-based logistics services company that offers comprehensive services such as importing orders, printing shipping labels, picking and packing orders, etc.
ShippingEasy helps simplify UPS and USPS shipping, automates shipping processes including abandoned cart, product reviews, product recommendations, etc.
23. Cabify Logistics
Operating in Spain, Cabify Logistics helps deliver to the end customer. The company offers logistics planning, storage and distribution services for large and small companies.
24. Ongoing WMS
This warehouse management system offers easy integration with Shopify stores, automates label printing process, batch orders to pick faster scan items, among other services.
Integrate the best subscription box shipping service into your Shopify business
It’s clear that having an efficient subscription shipping service is imperative if you want to reach your business goals—good products and top notch shipping services are two sides of the same coin for subscription businesses.
And it’s a must that your logistics partner tool is easy to integrate with your subscription app.
To explore the best logistics solutions for your subscription business, reach out to the Appstle team.
Explore Appstle Subscriptions and Loyalty app for your Shopify store.