Why a multi-carrier strategy is best for e-commerce logistics
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Choosing a multi-carrier strategy is best for e-commerce logistics. Here’s why. 

As every ambitious online merchant knows, the e-commerce sector is thriving. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers increasingly opted to buy their goods online, but this has accelerated beyond all expectations. While e-commerce sales accounted for 18% of all retail sales worldwide in 2020, this figure is expected to reach 21.8% in 2024. Naturally, this presents some exciting opportunities for e-commerce retailers who want to grow their business either domestically or internationally. But how do you scale up your business while ensuring you provide the highest standard of shipping services? A multi-carrier strategy could be the answer.

This article will explain the various benefits of choosing a multi-carrier strategy for your e-commerce logistics. From saving you time and money, to providing better flexibility and streamlining processes, we’ve got it covered.

Multi-carrier: it’s more cost-effective

Choosing a multi-carrier shipping strategy over a single carrier strategy means you can mix and match the services you want depending on the kinds of shipment you are sending and the preferences of your customers. Some carriers will offer better prices for heavy goods being shipped internationally, another will be a better choice for express deliveries within the EU, a third option may have great rates on small packages, and another will offer prices to a specific location that the others simply can’t compete with. By cherry-picking the best offerings for your business you can drive your prices down, which is great news for your business – and your customers.

Furthermore, by choosing the right company to manage your international multi-carrier strategy you can purchase in bulk from established international carriers such as DPD, DHL and Hermes and arrange last mile delivery with a local carrier. This approach can offer considerable savings, plus it helps reduce your carbon footprint and gives your customer a local experience.

Streamlined shipping services and less admin

At first glance this benefit for choosing a multi carrier strategy might seem impossible. Surely, if you choose to work with multiple carriers, you’ll have to devote a lot of time to managing the different contracts, checking and rechecking pricing structures to make sure you’re getting the best deal, and keeping on top of various tools and IT integrations.

But if you work with the best multi-carrier international logistics providers, like B2C Europe, we’ll handle all the supplier contracts and relationships for you. You’ll be able to manage every stage of your end-to-end shipping and returns processes from one centralised portal, streamlining your shipping services, boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty, making it easier to keep track of stock levels, reducing margin for error, and much more.

Of course, you’ll need to have full visibility of your shipments so make sure you work with a shipping provider that offers end to end Track and Trace with regular tracking status updates for customers. We’ve got that covered, too.

Better range of choices for the customer

Today’s e-commerce customers demand more choice and if they don’t feel their needs are being catered for, they will head straight into the arms of your competitors. In fact, a 2020 report from the Baymard Institute revealed that 49% of respondents cited additional costs as their primary reason for cart abandonment, which is over twice the figure for the second most common reason, the need to create an account.

Adopting a multi-carrier shipping strategy puts your customers in the driving seat. They can decide how quickly they need their goods delivered, the time of day they want to receive them, and which carrier they prefer. They also have more control over their returns shipping service, which is critical to the customer experience. Giving your customers the ability to personalise their shipping choices means higher levels of customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty, and great online reviews.

More options for shipping carrier features

As we mentioned earlier, every shipping carrier has their strengths and weaknesses, and this includes the features they offer. If you stock high-value goods it’s a good idea to work with a shipping carrier that offers a range of secure delivery and signature services. If you specialise in healthcare or food and drink produce you might require refrigerated, or reefer, shipping services. In today’s sustainability-focused world, you might also want to offer eco fulfilment and shipping services.

As you expand your business, you’ll need the right mix of shipping features to support your growth. A multi-carrier strategy can support that ambition, every step of the way.

Contingencies if things go wrong

No retailer likes to think about issues occurring with their shipments. But it does happen from time to time and you don’t want to be the company telling its hard-won customers that you don’t have a plan B. If a last-mile courier breaks down, you’ll be grateful for a contingency carrier to step in and save the day, and so will your customers. Opting for a multi-carrier strategy helps reduce the risk you are exposed to and means you have a greater chance at getting your shipments to their destination on time and in great condition.

More opportunities to grow your business

As an ambitious e-commerce retailer, you’re bound to want to test new markets and expand your business in new territories. This can be daunting even for experienced merchants. Having the support of the right cross border international logistics service means you’ll get the expert knowledge and experience you need to guide you in your new venture. You’ll benefit from local knowledge, multi-lingual support, access to the best rates and the best value fulfilment services. Everything you need to expand your business successfully and sustainably into new domestic or international markets. Plus, if you choose B2C Europe, this valuable advice and guidance is all included in the service!

We hope this guide to why choosing a multi-carrier strategy is best for e-commerce logistics has been useful. There is always a lot to consider when you are thinking about growing your business, both at home and away. As one of the most important elements in your e-commerce strategy it is critical you ensure your shipping services can support your expansion, so make sure you take the time to consider what’s best for you, now and in the future.

If you want to talk to one of our shipping experts to discuss your options, give us a call. We’re multi-carrier e-commerce logistics specialists, and we’d love to help.

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