Finding A Reliable Path to “Free” Shipping

More and more companies that have relied on distributors to market and sell their products are embracing “digital transformation” and selling and interacting directly with customers via ecommerce. But what many didn’t appreciate when their online selling journey began, was how tricky shipping issues would be.

Shipping products directly to customers who buy them online might seem like a straightforward activity. Tell the carrier weight and dimensions, get a price quote, accept it—or keep shopping. What’s the big deal?

Especially if the product is bulky or fragile, here’s the problem: All the major carriers will offer a quote to ship anything anywhere. However, they have the right to charge you for variables that are at the discretion of the driver of the truck that takes your product the last mile. Did the box shape change in transit from stacking and now suddenly exceed a certain length? That’s an extra charge. Was there a dirt road en route to the final destination? Ding. Was there a broken lift gate at the delivery dock? Ding.

And the problem is, these charges can show up months after the order is first paid for. They’re called “accessorial” and for many small and medium-sized businesses, they’re a nightmare. Amazon and other large marketplaces have made offering “free shipping” table stakes in online shopping—even for B2B transactions. But to make a profit on free shipping, you need to know what the shipping costs are you so you can price the product accordingly. Accessorials introduce a black box that can lower, even eliminate, your profit.

That’s why Inxeption is growing so fast among companies who aren’t willing to cede online sales to Amazon and other big marketplaces. By negotiating the best possible rate with carriers and charging our customers a guaranteed flat rate, we create predictability in shipping that few others can match. We charge a rate based on the value of what you’re shipping, not its dimensions. When we handle a large volume of your business, we can absorb occasional extra charges and we can both still make a profit. And we go further, always looking for ways to help our customers with the challenges that frustrate them. For example, we do not charge our customers when they print a shipping label. We wait until the product is picked up by a carrier.

With fully predictable shipping charges, finally, you can price products realistically and offer customers “free shipping.” That’s what we call Doing Business Better.

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