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Web-to print Feature of the Month: Advanced Shipping Techniques

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Providing accurate shipping estimates has been a constant thorn in the side of e-commerce sites, especially those offering custom printed products. Printed products can often be very complicated; coming in various sizes and quantities, with their custom nature making them far from standardized.

For example, even a product as simple as a postcard can come in several different sizes. paper weights and coating options. What happens if a client also wants to order a large format product, one which requires additional packaging to properly ship?

Most e-commerce systems only allow you to set up the weight per unit of product, regardless of the multitude of other contributing variables that can contribute to an increased shipping rate. To make matters even worse, additional parameters such as the package size, and number of boxes can affect the price significantly. If your web to print system is going to give you a reliable estimate for the actual shipping cost, it must have a mechanism to estimate the way a shipment will be packaged, and account for size, weight and number of packages in an order.

An effective web to print system will make it easy to correctly define these parameters, and empower you to offer custom printed products online without being worried about taking a loss on your shipping rates.

Our system provides a variety of advanced shipping techniques a growing print provider needs, in addition to several ways you can adjust shipping estimates:
  • Define maximum box size
  • Define how many units fit per box
  • Define how a product fits in the box (long side, rolled up etc)
  • Option to control markup on your shipping estimates
  • Option for a flat handling fee on specific products
  • Shipping weights calculated as a function of media weight for higher accuracy estimates

When you start handling a large shipping volume you can see real impacts in your bottom line by taking advantage of efficiencies offered by your web to print system. On top of giving your clients more accurate live shipping rates, here are a few advanced shipping techniques the PressCentric system offers that make shipping quick and easy:

One Click Shipping: Automatic Shipping Label Generation

Ensure your web to print system offers a comprehensive way to handle shipping. Our one click shipping feature integrates with your shipping provider, and when your order is ready to ship gives you a simple method to automatically generate shipping labels.

One Click Shipping: Automatic Tracking Number Delivery

Not only does one click shipping allow you to confirm your shipment size and weight, and generate a shipping label, but it will send your end user a tracking number with just one click. The PressCentric system has a dedicated queue for orders that are ready to ship, and makes it part of your process to notify your client that their order is finished, and give them access to live tracking updates.

Integration with Multiple Shipping Providers

Although there are benefits to staying with one shipping provider for all of your shipments, there are also benefits to offering multiple different service options to your end user. For example, a client might prefer the cheaper rate they might get in using USPS for a smaller local delivery, while another client might appreciate some of the express options offered by other providers such as FedEx or UPS.

PressCentric also integrates with some logistics companies like Unishippers who can sometimes offer better rates by providing access to regional shipping services.

Blind Shipping

This feature is perfect for those that do a lot of printing for the trade. Blind shipping is when the final recipient of the package is unaware of who the shipper is, and is frequently requested by resellers and brokers who want you to print and ship directly to their clients. Giving your trade partners this option is an important part of winning their confidence and getting them to rely on your web to print.
Using a clients shipping account

Some companies will prefer to use their own shipping accounts when you’re handling shipping on their behalf. This could be for many reasons, and providing this as part of the regular checkout process for these clients will be a huge plus.

Ship from various locations

You may have multiple production facilities, or work with a network of vendors that produce and ship print across the country. Having an intelligent and automated system for handling these kinds of shipping scenarios is a key part of growing to be a nationwide force.
Make certain shipping services available only to some clients

Giving preferred shipping rates, custom delivery services and boutique options to specific groups of clients can not only be an important part of winning a large client, but is often a contractual obligation. If your system can’t play favorites when it comes to shipping, then you’re in trouble.

Make certain shipping services available by geographic area

Being able to define delivery rates and offer specific services by geographical area is a great way to increase your local business. Even if you don’t have your own delivery service, working with regional shipping couriers to offer express services by locality is a great way to increase orders.


Find more tips for web to print success in our Web to Print blog posts


PressCentric has had a complete suite of web to print tools available and serving real customers for years. We’ve got the answers, and provide simple solutions to problems you’ll face while trying to scale your printing business online.

Contact us for a free consultation today.

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