Make time to review delivery

May 13, 2015 03:20 PM

One-third, 32.9%, of e-retailers say they review their contracts and service levels with their shipping providers annually, according to the results of Internet Retailer’s 2015 Delivery Survey.

But one-fifth, 20.6%, say they review their contracts and service with vendors only as needed, which may help explain e-retailers’ satisfaction levels with carriers. 46.7% of retailers who say they are satisfied with their primary carrier review their terms annually; among retailers who characterize their satisfaction level as “could be better,” only 22.73% review their contracts annually. The same percentage report reviewing contracts “only as needed” as well. That compares to 8.9% of satisfied retailers who review contracts on an as-needed basis.

Taking the satisfaction level out of the mix, the survey finds small retailers are less likely to conduct annual audits than larger retailers. Among e-retailers that ship fewer than 100 packages a day, 36.4% review only as needed and 24.2% review annually.

At JackThreads, a web-only retailer of apparel, footwear, jewelry and home accessories, Jolynn Khamky, director of fulfillment and head of shipping and logistics operations, takes reviews up a notch, reviewing the e-retailer’s contract with UPS and the carrier’s performance quarterly. “We look at where shipping costs are, where we thought costs would be, and where they were a year earlier,” she says.

16.5% of retailers in the survey say they do quarterly reviews; 7.2% say they review monthly. On the other end of the time spectrum, 12.4% report reviewing their contract and service every 2-3 years. And 10.31% did not know how often they performed reviews

JackThreads uses software built in-house along with software provided by shipping consultants LJM Consultants to monitor how much it spends on shipping.

The Internet Retailer 2015 Delivery Survey was conducted online from May 1-12. 116 e-retailers participated. The full results of the survey will appear in the June issue of Internet Retailer magazine and reveal the top carriers, e-retailer satisfaction levels, free and same-day shipping preferences and more. 




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