In the age of two-day anything and on-demand everything, it’s no wonder consumers are turning to the largest source on earth to find their next must-have pieces of antique and vintage furniture: the Internet.
While parcel deliveries make up the bulk of the $450 billion U.S. e-commerce market, furniture and home furnishings represent one of the fastest growing online segments.
Major retailers like Amazon and Wayfair have created robust delivery platforms of their own, leaving independent online sellers seeking competitive shipping solutions that help level the playing field in an extremely crowded market.
While a number of legacy delivery solutions exist for small-scale furniture retailers, the industry’s true challenge is finding oversized-item transport that’s both cost effective for the seller and meets buyers’ expectations of fast, affordable delivery.
For furniture retailers of any size, uShip’s In-Home Delivery solution provides first-to-final mile delivery (yes, that’s longer than just final-mile delivery) of large items at competitive prices, along with a suite of valuable benefits that elevate the buyer experience, from the critical purchase consideration point online to delivery into the room-of-choice.
Tech-Infused Delivery Solutions
Powerful technology solutions shouldn’t be limited to the industry’s major players. With uShip In-Home Delivery, online furniture sellers have access to a comprehensive suite of tools that ultimately turn shipping into a powerful conversion tool, including:
1. Predictive Pricing
With 15 years of pricing data built into our platform, uShip offers a rate table based on predictive pricing analytics. Nearly 3 million big-and-bulky shipments have been delivered through uShip so we know a thing or two about market rates, more importantly, market-clearing rates, for things like sofas, armoires, dining rooms sets, giant mirrors, antiques, and vintage anything.
So, what’s meant by a market-clearing rate? This is the pricing sweet spot that reduces your costs as a seller but is still an attractive rate to your furniture buyer. This pricing intelligence is apparent to customers when they are at the consideration phase of the purchase on your site. When an attractive shipping rate is displayed, shipping no longer drives them away, unlike the 47 percent of buyers who look elsewhere for the same item when the shipping cost displayed is perceived as too high.
No matter what furniture delivery pricing strategy you subscribe to in the checkout process – custom quotes, subsidized rates, revenue-driving rates, or free shipping – you’ll have the insight and capability to deliver a solution that converts buyers and keeps them coming back. With transparent rates come happy customers – and more customers who don’t just browse, but complete their purchase.
2. Checkout Integration
Speaking of customers completing a purchase, you can easily integrate rates via API directly to your checkout process. Or If you’re an emerging or relatively small seller, our Shopify plugin makes it even easier. With shipping solutions available directly within the checkout process, you’re less likely to lose customers due to cart abandonment and shipping frustrations.
The interesting part about this is that you as a seller can test uShip’s API integration at checkout alongside your existing solutions, including parcel and freight. In other words, working with uShip isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. We have a number of partners who do just this, all in the name of optimizing their logistics solution based on what, where and when items are shipped.
3. Your Transporter Network
Choose your own network of hand-picked transporters that are eligible to access your listings on uShip and make your deliveries. This helps ensure a great buyer experience all the way through to that sofa getting unwrapped and set in your customer’s den. Our nationwide network, built organically over the last 15 years, has over 40,000 active, feedback-rated transporters ready to complete first-to-final mile furniture delivery. Our current online sellers report a less than 1% claim rate, unheard of across industry. But this is logistics, after all, so we also offer convenient, affordable insurance coverage for every shipment as a peace-of-mind backstop.
4. Track and Trace Communication
Your network of select carriers is mobile-enabled, so have the ability to offer track-and-trace communication, helping reduce phone calls and status checks while goods are en route. We offer a shipment page that displays the general location of your shipment while it’s on the way, and a link to that tracking status is easily shared with all parties involved with the transaction so everyone’s in the loop.
5. Managed Services from uShip
Let’s face it, if you’re an emerging seller who wears lots of hats, shipping and logistics probably isn’t where you want to spend all your time. That’s why uShip offers Managed Services through our expert support team. Think of them as an extension of your own team.
The Total Solution
There’s no shortage of e-commerce store solutions out there today, and there’s no shortage of delivery options available. What makes uShip’s In-Home Delivery program so unique is that it spans shipping rates integrated at checkout AND a huge network of select feedback-rated carriers ready to make first-to-final deliveries anywhere in the country. It’s something every online seller needs, so let’s talk about how we can help you.