Are Shipping Costs Sinking Your Bottom Line?

Nearly everyone has a website now. And with the amazing platforms and out-of-the-box solutions on the market, the majority of your business needs probably have an answer. But sometimes a small custom piece can make or break your business.

We recently had a customer with this exact problem. Our team was able to integrate a custom algorithm with his shopping cart that resulted in several benefits both to our client and his customers.

working with what you've got

As with most of our clients, there were large parts of this site that were working great. And we are not going to fix what isn't broken. In this case, the shopping integration was Braintree. With that our client was able to track transaction info, manage stock, and take advantage of their fully secure and compliant payment processing portal. All of this was core to his business and it was an awesome solution. But there was one piece that was leaking a significant amount of money: estimating shipping costs.

The Smallest Bounding Box

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Custom Algorithms

While there are a lot of "out of the box" solutions that will work for your business, customizing them in key areas can help you save not only your money, but also your customers'!

On our client's site, it's possible to order and purchase products. But some of the items are large or awkwardly shaped. Shipping these products is core to his business. But when shipping companies change their method for determining shipping costs, his business needs to keep up. What was once a simple estimate based on the package size now incorporates a ratio of volume and weight.

Since there's no way to change the weight of an order, we focused on optimizing the volume of the items shipped. This would bring down shipping costs, so he could pass on those savings to his customers. We had to figure out how to determine the smallest box possible for each order. This becomes increasingly complex as a customer adds items to their shopping cart. The algorithm has to take into account the dimensions of each item, how it could be arranged in a single box, and the smallest possible box they could fit in. 

Don't Make Guesses with Your Bottom Line

Now that we have perfectly determined the two metrics needed to get an accurate quote on the shipping cost, we are able to save the business owner money. Previously, he was guessing as to how much he thought shipping might be, and more often than not, underestimating. That hit his bottom line. 

In the end, adding a small piece of code to a generally solid site saved both our client and his customers large amounts of money. Thinking strategically about what probably has a general solution that will work for you and what needs to be customized for your particular line of work is what gives your business an edge over your competition.

Connect with us about your site. Is there a way we can help give you the edge?