UShip’s low, fixed costs ease entry into e-commerce game

eMarketer values online furniture sales at $42 billion this year, a number that is expected to rise to $50 billion in 2020. But those numbers don’t impress local brick-and-mortar retailers who shy away from e-commerce because they can’t find reliable shipping with fixed quotes.

Thanks to shipping broker UShip, furniture retailers might want to rethink that decision.

UShip’s fixed-price, white-glove delivery service helps online merchants solve that problem and enables retailers to compete with Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart and other larger online sellers.

Moving oversized items like furniture is old hat to UShip, one of the Home Furnishings Association‘s solution partners. The company has shipped nearly 2.5 million large, bulky pieces since 2004. But for years, UShip’s core audience was the end consumers, and its pricing model was largely bid- or auction-based. Drivers with room in their trucks would bid on moving freight big or small if it was destined for a city along the route they were taking. Pricing varied wildly.

“That made it tough for retailers to get a handle on what it would cost to ship a sofa from, say, Atlanta to Austin, Texas,” says Reid Kegel, a sales manager at UShip.

Immediate, fixed quotes

Today, powered by 15 years of accumulated data, UShip’s logistics platform and carrier network can calculate the weight and dimensions of many manufacturers’ bulky pieces of furniture and offer a retailer an immediate, fixed quote.

Kegel said retailers today save more than 50 percent on their e-commerce delivery costs using UShip. That’s not all that’s being reduced: Delivery times that once took upward of 12 weeks now take two weeks or less, said Kegel.

UShip also reports damage rates are down to 1 percent because furniture is almost always handled by the driver from start to finish.

“Anyone interested in taking their business to the online world, we think we can help,” said Kegel.

For more information about UShip’s brokerage services and what it offers HFA members, call an HFA membership specialist at 800-422-3778.

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