Shipwire in the News

Shipwire Tips for A Successful Online Product Return Policy

Marketwire, December 22

Shipwire Offers Insight and Tips for Successful Online Returns Policies

Palo Alto, CA— December 22, 2009 With the holiday shopping season drawing to a close, online shoppers and retailers alike are gearing up for the next surge: post-holiday returns and exchanges. Although likely dreaded by online retailers, returns don’t have to be problematic or a “margin drain.” In fact, studies show that with the right processes in place, an online retailer can actually benefit from a generous returns policy — in the form of repeat customers, higher sales and increased revenue.

Shipwire, the leading e-commerce product fulfillment company, offers online retailers some specific tips to establish returns policies that will keep customers knocking at their virtual door time and again. First, it’s important to remember that communication plays a big role in a positive returns experience for online customers. Let them know what products they can return, how to return them and where they should be sent. Likewise, keep customers in the loop by letting them know a return has been received, and when they can expect the refund or exchange.

It’s also a good idea to make a return policy very accessible and very clear to customers. Ensure it is front-and-center with a link to the policy during checkout, and clearly spell out any return restrictions, including how long a customer has to return an item, and any restocking fees. Finally, make it easier logistically for customers to return merchandise. Include return instructions and a return address label with each shipment. Online retailers may consider even picking up the cost for return shipping. Customers will appreciate such generosity.

If returns are still a daunting prospect this holiday season, Shipwire reminds online retailers that they can seek help from their product fulfillment partner. Order fulfillment partnerships offer big payoffs, and can allow the retailer to outsource the hassles of managing day-to-day product returns and exchanges.

About Shipwire (http://www.shipwire.com)
Shipwire provides growing e-tailers with e-commerce order fulfillment services powered by a global warehouse network and its Store-Sell-Ship™ platform. Shipwire eliminates the hassle of storage and shipping, so merchants can focus on growth. Convenient facility locations: Warehouse Los Angeles, warehouse Hong Kong, warehouse Chicago, warehouse Toronto, warehouse Vancouver, warehouse London. Shipwire allows merchants to drastically reduce shipping costs by locating inventory closer to buyers. Usage-based plans start at just $29/month, and enable merchants to locate inventory in all warehouses, with no contract commitments. Shipwire is the only warehouse logistics service that instantly integrates with shopping carts and inventory management systems. Shipwire is developer and partner friendly; learn more about our shipping affliate partner program or get our outsourced e-commerce order fulfillment guide at http://www.shipwire.com/partner. Stay up to date with our shipping fulfillment blog. Print online postage USPS. For a free trial or more information, contact 1-888-SHIPWIRE or visit http://www.shipwire.com/trial. Shipwire press resource center.

Read more

Shipwire Urges UK Businesses to Learn from the Royal Mail Postal Strikes

Business Wire, Nov 4, 2009

Shipwire urges UK businesses to learn from the Royal Mail postal strikes and implement an order delivery crisis plan

Palo Alto, CA—November 4, 2009 Shipwire, the e-commerce order fulfillment company, is today advising small businesses to learn a valuable lesson from the Royal Mail strikes. As reports of Christmas disruptions and weeks of backlogs continue to populate the UK media and the threat of additional strikes looming, the crisis is by no means over. Shipwire believes that this will not be the last strike that small businesses will encounter and that they should heed the warning to avoid impact in the future.

“UK small businesses have been, in the most part, slow to act in the face of the crisis. Royal Mail is well known for a history of industrial action and it’s surprising that many more businesses have not planned ahead. The direct impact has been severe, from sliding consumer confidence to the huge increase in customer service costs,” says Damon Schechter, founder and CEO of Shipwire, and author of Delivering the Goods: The Art of Managing Your Supply Chain (Wiley, 2002).

John Ellen CEO of NetDirectDeals.co.uk comments, “The industrial action from Royal Mail no doubt has caused major inconveniences to the day to day running of our business. We have a greater amount of support tickets from concerned customers we have to deal with, as well as the threat of negative feedback for delays in deliveries being posted to our Amazon® or eBay® selling profiles. We are starting to use other independent couriers for larger items and no doubt we will use these more frequently in the future if more industrial action follows. As a mail order business, we cannot be at the mercy of Royal Mail; we need to use alternative carriers where possible to avoid delayed deliveries.”

In an already difficult market, Shipwire believes that businesses need to limit the damage of postal strikes and implement a delivery crisis plan that should safeguard them in the future. While businesses should look at all options available, Shipwire recommends considering the following tips:

  1. Seek alternative carriers. The strike should see the emergence of more companies looking to target dissatisfied Royal Mail customers. Look for smaller and local carriers that are providing an alternative to Royal Mail. Work with your existing fulfillment and drop shipping vendors to ensure you have reasonable alternate carriers available as needed.
  2. Be location smart. Businesses should place goods close to their customers. This will save shipping costs and ensure that the business is not reliant on any one region. This is especially important for merchants that sell overseas. Placing product in the local market can insulate against future Royal Mail strikes and significantly cut your shipping costs by eliminating cross-border international shipments. Global payment services like PayPal® allow you to take credit cards internationally and can be automated with your local distribution center.
  3. Speak to your customers. Businesses should clearly communicate alternative available options to customers and make them aware of any additional measures that they are taking to protect them. This is especially important for orders acquired through marketplaces with active buyer feedback such as eBay or Amazon.
  4. Avoid mispriced shipping rates. Businesses that don’t have alternate delivery methods built into their shopping cart checkout may be mispricing delivery rates, leading to costs that their businesses will have to absorb.
  5. Outsource product fulfillment. By outsourcing product distribution you will gain the expertise of a company who can manage and advise you throughout a crisis and provide alternatives, allowing you to focus on building your business, instead of watching the news page.

Shipwire handles the storage, packing and shipping of products on behalf of manufacturers and retailers from a global network of warehouses in the U.S., Canada and Europe. See the Shipwire response to the Royal Mail strike at http://www.shipwire.com/blog

About Shipwire (http://www.shipwire.com)
Shipwire provides growing e-tailers with e-commerce order fulfillment services powered by a global warehouse network and its Store-Sell-Ship™ platform. Shipwire eliminates the hassle of storage and shipping, so merchants can focus on growth. Convenient facility locations: Warehouse Los Angeles, warehouse Reno, warehouse Chicago, warehouse Toronto, warehouse Vancouver, warehouse London. Shipwire allows merchants to drastically reduce shipping costs by locating inventory closer to buyers. Usage-based plans start at just $29/month, and enable merchants to locate inventory in all warehouses, with no contract commitments. Shipwire is the only warehouse logistics service that instantly integrates with shopping carts and inventory management systems. Shipwire is developer and partner friendly; learn more about our shipping affliate partner program or get our outsourced e-commerce order fulfillment guide at http://www.shipwire.com/partner. Stay up to date with our shipping fulfillment blog. Print online postage USPS. For a free trial or more information, contact 1-888-SHIPWIRE or visit http://www.shipwire.com/trial. Shipwire press resource center.

Read more

Shipwire Extends Features for Its Growing Partner Program

Business Wire, December 16, 2008.

Enhanced Program Presents Revenue Opportunity for E-commerce Software Developers and Shipping Affiliates

Supply chain logistics and transportation is a fragmented multi-billion dollar industry that has not traditionally catered to small and medium sized e-tailers. One piece of the puzzle, order fulfillment, is particularly time consuming and complex for businesses to manage independently. Recognizing this opportunity, Shipwire, a leading e-commerce order fulfillment service and transportation logistics company, provides the e-commerce community with tools to offer shipping and fulfillment as a value-added service via the Shipwire Shipping Affiliate Partner Program.

Since launching the Shipping Affiliate Partner Program in December 2007, more than 150 developers and e-commerce partners have built applications on top of the Shipwire Fulfillment Web Services platform; extending the functionality of their shopping carts, inventory management tools and business applications. To support its growing community, Shipwire today announces enhancements and additional shipping web services for its shipping partner program, including APIs and XML testing tools that allow independent software developers to add transparency to the shipping process, reduce customer support costs and increase data communications between e-commerce applications. Participation in the program is free and unlike UPS affiliate , FedEx affiliate and USPS affiliate programs, offers long-term commission earnings each time a merchant ships through Shipwire.

“The shipping and order fulfillment process was long seen as the dreaded last mile of the e-commerce process for small-to-medium sized businesses—full of hassle, costs and labor-intensive steps,” said Nate Gilmore, vice president at Shipwire. “Shipwire turns that reputation on its head; transforming order fulfillment into a streamlined process and an opportunity for cost savings, revenue and market growth. The enhancements to the program provide e-commerce partners with a shipping and fulfillment web services toolkit to save hassles, time and money while enabling international sales growth and greater shipping status transparency for online buyers.”

In 2008, Shipwire merchants averaged a 32 percent reduction in per-item parcel shipping costs by leveraging Shipwire’s multiple warehouses to ship goods shorter distances to end buyers. Shipwire merchants also continued to grow international sales in 2008. Leveraging Shipwire warehouses in Canada and the U.K., in Q3 2008 Shipwire merchants were able to dramatically reduce international shipping costs while expanding international orders to 15 percent of total volume, up from 9 percent in Q2 2008. By partnering with Shipwire, the e-commerce community for the first time is able to establish a significant long-term revenue channel while solving merchant challenges such as rising shipping rates, international fulfillment complexities and expanding into new growth markets while lowering customer support costs.

Integrations Deliver New Revenue and Market Opportunities

When partners integrate with Shipwire they can now leverage new Shipwire Fulfillment Web Services features including: a multi-carrier shipping rate API, enabling shopping cart providers to integrate selected parcel shipping rates directly into the checkout process. Developers choose specific carriers and merchant inventory locations from Shipwire options, or opt in for the Merchant Package Service, which provides the best shipping rate available by matching shipping preferences pre-selected by the merchant. Shipwire offers shipping rates and integration with parcel and freight carriers including UPS, FedEx, USPS, Canada Post, Royal Mail, FedEx freight, Eurotrux, and Parcel Force. An additional Web fulfillment service feature adds inbound receiving APIs so that inventory management systems can inform Shipwire of inbound inventory and anticipated receiving times.

Shipwire also introduces enhancements to existing Web services including:

  • Order fulfillment web services API: Includes retrieval of detailed order status and scripted cancellation and manipulation of orders.
  • Inventory Web services API: Allows for product export, product attribute manipulation and scripted reporting of “pending” and “shipped” counts as well as anticipated ship date for back orders.
  • Tracking Web services API: New calls for whether a package has shipped and pending ship dates, as well as more detailed status updates available via API.

While each partner integration is unique, these examples illustrate how the Web services developer community is leveraging the Shipwire partner program to find new revenue opportunities and facilitate merchant success:

Leveraging Shipping to Increase Merchant’s Bottom Line: Shopify delivers to retailers the tools to design and build a successful e-commerce store that attracts and retains customers. Shopify integrated with the Shipwire API to improve the internet-delivered application for its increasingly savvy e-tailor customer base; adding order submission, inventory control and shipment tracking. “Since releasing the Shipwire integration we have seen very favorable merchant response including many signups to the service and we have received thousands of dollars in partnership commissions from Shipwire,” says Shopify CEO Tobias Leutke. “We are now able to help merchants control shipping costs and save time and hassles—all they do to ship an order is click a button in the Shopify interface. With Shipwire, we have a powerful new revenue stream for the entire Shopify community.”

Going Global with Proven Shipping Infrastructure: Zen Cart, a free open-source shopping cart software provider, needed a shipping solution that was on-demand and scalable for Zen Cart merchants who wanted to extend into international markets. According to Zen Ventures, LLC’s CEO Kim Elliott, “Shipwire allowed us to quickly enter the order fulfillment market and offer a leading solution to Zen Cart users with virtually no time investment. Many international merchants use Zen Cart and many more want to sell internationally. We estimate that 25 percent or more of our users are in need of local or international order fulfillment and the Shipwire Zen Cart module makes this a reality by enabling orders to be manually or automatically sent to Shipwire for fulfillment out of warehouses in the U.S., Canada and the UK.”

Delivering on the Last Mile for Successful E-Commerce Order Fulfillment: Solid Cactus provides e-commerce design, order management, and Internet marketing for 3,000 e-commerce stores, but was missing the last mile—order fulfillment. “Merchants had repeatedly asked us to add an order fulfillment solution, and once we launched our new online order management solution, we immediately looked to Shipwire as a partner,” says Kurt Illian, vice president of business development. “There’s real feedback and insight into delivery times with Shipwire. Plus, the partner team gave us the marketing and sales support to confidently recommend the service to all our merchants.”

Monetizing Shipping Opens Up New Services for Miva Merchant’s Customers: Miva Merchant, a shopping cart software and Web design service to small businesses for over a decade, recently partnered with Shipwire to offer affordable fulfillment services to an array of small merchants. According to Rick Wilson, executive vice president, “The Shipwire partner program allows us to release our entire e-commerce software module at no cost to the merchant. Coupled with Shipwire’s free trial, a Miva Merchant customer can test out the entire service package without any investment or risk whatsoever.”

Further details about these integrations and additional program information are available at http://www.shipwire.com/partner.

###

About Shipwire (http://www.shipwire.com)
Shipwire provides growing e-tailers with e-commerce order fulfillment services powered by a global warehouse network and its Store-Sell-Ship™ platform. Shipwire eliminates the hassle of storage and shipping, so merchants can focus on growth. With warehouses in Los Angeles, Reno, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver and the UK, Shipwire allows merchants to drastically reduce shipping costs by locating inventory closer to buyers. Usage-based plans start at just $29/month, and enable merchants to locate inventory in all warehouses, with no contract commitments. Shipwire is the only warehouse logistics service that instantly integrates with shopping carts and inventory management systems. Shipwire is developer and partner friendly; learn more about our shipping affliate partner program or get our outsourced e-commerce order fulfillment guide at http://www.shipwire.com/partner. Stay up to date with our shipping fulfillment blog. Print online postage USPS. For a free trial or more information, contact 1-888-SHIPWIRE or visit http://www.shipwire.com/trial.

Contact: Press (at) shipwire (dot) com

Read more

Former COO of FedEx Ground, Ivan Hofmann, Joins Shipwire Advisory Board

Business Wire, September 29, 2008.

Merchants Using Shipwire to Benefit from Hofmann’s 33 Years of Logistics and Supply Chain Expertise.


Sunnyvale, CA, September 29, 2008
Shipwire, Inc. today announced the addition of business-logistics industry veteran, Ivan Hofmann, to its advisory team in the role of logistics advisor to the Shipwire board and executive team. With 33 years of experience and success, Hofmann is a recognized leader in the $1.2 trillion business-logistics industry, having contributed significantly to its growth and development as president of RPS Inc. (Roadway Package System) and EVP and chief operating officer of FedEx Ground. Hofmann brings to the Shipwire team a deep expertise in business and small parcel ground shipping.

“Small businesses have needed an easy-to-use Internet-delivered service that empowers them to enter new markets and grow sales,” states Hofmann. “Shipwire’s logistics platform gives merchants powerful shipping and order fulfillment tools as well as supply chain insight that solves major warehouse and shipping headaches for small- business merchants. Similar to FedEx Ground, Shipwire empowers business owners with the tools to make complex logistics operations easy, even for the most time-strapped business owner. For retailers in growth mode, outsourcing their warehouse storage and order fulfillment to Shipwire lets them focus on growing their core business.”

Ivan Hofmann, retired chief operating officer of FedEx Ground, brings to Shipwire extensive expertise in logistics, transportation, warehouse distribution and shipping. Mr. Hofmann joins Shipwire after a successful 33-year career with transportation logistics companies that began in 1970 when he joined a national LTL carrier. Between 1973 and 1985 he held roles related to sales, logistics transportation, warehousing distribution services and district management with Roadway Express. In 1985 he became vice president of Operations of Roadway Package System Inc., the forerunner of Fedex Ground Inc. Promoted in 1990 to senior vice president of operations, he became president of RPS Inc. on January 1, 1993. During his tenure, the company reached significant sales and operations milestones, exceeding $1 billion in annual revenue and reaching 100 percent coverage of the North American market. With the acquisition of former RPS parent company Caliber System by FedEx in January 1998, Hofmann was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of FedEx Ground. After helping build FedEx Ground into a major competitor in the business-to-business and small-package shipping market, Hofmann retired from the company in 2004.

Damon Schechter, founder and CEO of Shipwire, and author of Delivering the Goods: The Art of Managing Your Supply Chain (Wiley, 2002) states, “Ivan Hofmann’s addition to our team has already proven to be a major benefit both to Shipwire and to the companies using our services. Ivan personally walks the floor of our business and provides hands-on advice, allowing us to provide a much better experience to our customers. His invaluable expertise will help us accelerate growth and continue our aggressive international expansion. Already, we”ve seen results in cost containment, volume shipping discount negotiations and strategic expansion.”

Hofmann states, “I”ve spent much of my career building scalable outsourced shipping operations for businesses. The Shipwire solution solves a major pain point for merchants focused on fast growth: how to scale warehouse and shipping services in line with sales without making a major investment. We intend to make Shipwire a major player in the global movement of goods—with aggregated buying power—by building a world-class shipping and warehousing solution, available on-demand to growing businesses.”

###

About Shipwire (http://www.shipwire.com)
Shipwire provides growing e-tailers with e-commerce order fulfillment services powered by a global warehouse network and its Store-Sell-Ship™ platform. Shipwire eliminates the hassle of storage and shipping, so merchants can focus on growth. With warehouses in Los Angeles, Reno, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver and the UK, Shipwire allows merchants to drastically reduce shipping costs by locating inventory closer to buyers. Usage-based plans start at just $29/month, and enable merchants to locate inventory in all warehouses, with no contract commitments. Shipwire is the only warehouse logistics service that instantly integrates with shopping carts and inventorymanagement systems. Shipwire is developer and partner friendly; learn more about our e-commerce developer affiliate program. Get our outsourced e-commerce order fulfillment guide. For a free trial or more information, contact 1-888-SHIPWIRE or visit http://www.shipwire.com/trial.

Contact: Press (at) shipwire (dot) com

Read more

Media or Press Inquiry?

We'd love to hear from you.

Get in touch

Forgot your password?