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Omnichannel Fulfillment

Supply Chain Excellence: Behind the Scenes of the 2023 NRF Top 100 Retailers’ Shipping and Fulfillment

Discover how multi-carrier shipping software boosts operations and the customer experience for top retailers.

The annual list of the retail industry’s biggest players is here. This list considers retailers in a variety of categories and ranks the industry’s largest companies according to sales. Many of these top brands are well known as industry leaders, revolutionizing the retail landscape with their strategies and operations.

View the 2023 NRF Top 100 List here.

While many factors contribute to their found success, one crucial aspect stands above the rest: their shipping and fulfillment operations. Dive in as this blog takes a closer look at the shipping technology and automations that play a pivotal role in optimizing retailer’s supply chain operations, enhancing the Customer Experience (CX), and boosting efficiency and generating cost savings.

Efficient shipping and fulfillment operations

Shipping and fulfillment operations are more than just shipping a box to a customer – they are integral to a retailer's success. In an era where the expectations of customers are higher than ever, efficient and seamless order delivery can make or break a brand's reputation. The retailers atop the NRF Top 100 understand this well and have optimized their shipping and fulfillment processes to ensure customer satisfaction.

One of the key technologies that enables these retailers to achieve supply chain success is multi-carrier shipping software (MCSS). This advanced shipping solution optimizes various aspects of their operations including order processing, rate shopping, and order management.

  • Streamlining Order Processing and Label Generation: Multi-carrier shipping software automates the order processing workflow, reducing manual errors, and saving time. By integrating with the retailer's supply chain systems, MCSS can generate shipping labels within its centralized platform, ensuring accurate identification and the ability to track orders. This not only improves efficiency, but also reduces the risk of errors that can lead to delivery delays.
  • Carrier Selection and Rate Shopping: Shipping software empowers retailers to compare shipping rates and transit times in real-time. With these options, retailers can make informed decisions about which carrier and service to choose for each shipment, considering factors such as cost, speed, and quality. More elite solutions can consider even more factors, like trailer pull times, customer delivery hour of choice, and more [Learn more about Rate Shopping]. This capability enables them to optimize their shipping costs while ensuring timely and reliable deliveries. 
  • Order Management and Warehouse Optimization: Many leading MCSS solutions integrate seamlessly with other parts of the Enterprise Software Stack, such as order management systems (OMS), providing retailers with enhanced visibility and control over their fulfillment locations. Through utilizing MCSS and features like batch processing and pack and cartonization optimization, retailers can streamline their operations, reduce inefficiencies, and improve order fulfillment accuracy. This level of optimization minimizes delays and ensures that customers receive the right products at the right time.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

The NRF Top 100 Retailers understand that delivering a positive CX is key in today's competitive landscape. Multi-carrier shipping software lends itself in various ways to achieve this goal, by providing visibility, flexibility and returns.

  • Visibility: Because of shipping software’s strong connections to its carrier partners, it can provide customers with real-time tracking updates and proactive notifications, keeping them informed of shipment progress. This communication builds trust and confidence, reducing WISMO inquiries and enhancing the overall customer experience.
  • Flexibility: MCSS allows retailers to offer customers a range of delivery options tailored to their preferences. Whether it's express shipping, same-day delivery, or in-store pickup, retailers can provide flexibility and convenience to meet customer expectations. These options enhance customer satisfaction and because of broad carrier libraries from MCSS solutions, can pivot to other carrier services when disruptions arise and as needed.
  • Returns: Returns are an inevitable part of the retail business, and they aren’t going anywhere. In 2022, total retail returns grew 2.8% to $613.94 billion. How returns are handled can significantly impact customer loyalty and because MCSS can simplify the returns process, retailers are able to extend that hassle-free experience to their customers. MCSS enables features like automated return label generation, flexible return options, as well as the tracking and status updates mentioned above.

Boosting efficiency and cost savings

In addition to optimizing retailer’s shipping and fulfillment operations and enhancing the customer experience, multi-carrier shipping software drives efficiency and cost savings for retailers. It does this by automating and streamlining the shipping processes and providing data insights into shipping performance.

  • Automation and Error Reduction: MCSS automates repetitive tasks, reducing the chance of human errors and minimizing the need for manual changes. This automation streamlines the shipping process, increases operational efficiency, and helps to eliminate costly mistakes that could lead to customer complaints or returns. With advanced systems that allow for business rules, these automated shipping decisions can be based on predetermined guidelines that have been set up for that retailer’s unique business needs. In addition, because the MCSS automates these shipping decisions, the IT team can focus on other areas, rather than upkeep of things that may change – like carrier compliance requirements, or shipping rates.
  • Analytics and Data Insights: Shipping software provides valuable data and analytics on shipping performance, carrier performance, and costs. Retailers can use Business Intelligence solutions to leverage these insights, identifying bottlenecks to make data-driven decisions, further reducing freight spend. By analyzing shipping trends and patterns, retailers can identify areas for improvement such as real-time reviewing of surcharges and accessorials that may impact transportation spend, which will help with negotiating better carrier contracts and refining their overall operations.

How ProShip multi-carrier shipping software supercharges shipping for the NRF Top 100 Retailers

The NRF Top 100 Retailers of 2023 have established themselves as leaders in the retail industry, finding success because of their shipping and fulfillment operations. Advanced shipping technology solutions, like multi-carrier shipping software, are essential for any retailer seeking to optimize their supply chain, enhance the customer experience, and boost efficiency. 

As retailers strive to meet the evolving customer e-commerce demands, implementing an elite multi-carrier shipping software, like ProShip’s solution that is used by nearly 30% of the 2023 NRF Top 100, can prove to be a game-changer, offering a competitive edge and enabling them to deliver an exceptional CX.

To discover how ProShip's industry-leading multi-carrier shipping software can help you join the ranks of leading retailers like the ones on this list, contact ProShip today.