Three shipping metrics to improve eCommerce reporting

Order Management

Shipping is an important part of any eCommerce operation. The ability to deliver an order on time and at a low cost while providing the customer with full transparency is crucial. Online sellers that cannot nail the distribution aspect of their operations will fail to achieve success in the long run. Many shoppers already perceive shipping as one of the biggest drawbacks of buying online, so the inability to handle this process effectively can damage the reputation of an online merchant.

So, how can retailers improve reporting and their shipping process? It starts with insightful metrics that consider a variety of different areas of shipping from drop shippers to shipping providers to shipping costs. By regularly analyzing these shipping metrics, retailers can see what they are doing right, where they are going wrong and then take corrective action to ensure these elements of their eCommerce operations are no longer working against them.

Here are a few shipping metrics that retailers should include to improve their reports:

1. Shipping costs:

How expensive is it for companies to ship items to customers? Shipping can be a significant cost if retailers aren’t executing it strategically. On top of that, with fuel prices on the rise, shipping providers such as FedEx and United Parcel Service are always looking for new ways to charge retailers more money. If shipping costs spike or grow over time, shipping metrics can help merchants identify the problem so retailers can make adjustments (perhaps by changing the packages they use or exploring their options with other shipping providers).

2. Orders by Shipping Location:

A retailer may choose to add or remove a shipping provider, or adjust warehouse operations to support a popular shipping type.

Retailers are focused on efficiency as a means of improving their profit margins. The less wasteful practices used, the more money they save. This has led merchants to make extensive use of drop shippers. Sometimes, drop shippers help retailers offer more items at a lower operational cost. Shipping metrics- such as number of orders fulfilled by drop shippers, number of order fulfilled by internal warehouse- can help sellers allocate inventory and adjust operations based on the volume of orders being shipped from each location.

3. Shipping type:

Retailers frequently offer multiple different types of shipping, ranging from more expensive overnight to less expensive ground shipping. If shipping metrics show customers are all opting for one end of the spectrum over the other, merchants can leverage this information to make influential operational decisions. A retailer may choose to add or remove a shipping provider, or adjust warehouse operations to support a popular shipping type.

Shipping metrics are paramount to the success of any merchant,. In regard to shipping, the technology is especially important. By utilizing eCommerce software such as SalesWarp, merchants can track and view real-time performance across all areas of eCommerce operations, including shipping and order fulfillment. 

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