61 votesJohn commented
With 30 years of fulfillment experience with other businesses and now with my own business, here is why it benefits consolidating/combining customer orders for shipping. 1. Customer satisfaction: they like getting all their stuff together, even when they don't expect it. Yes, there may be times a customer does not want them shipped together, but we can update our own T&C/policies to handle that and ask the customer to add a note to their order. 2. Saves on shipping costs for us, as often we are discounting shipping for customer satisfaction and most carrier rates are in 1 pound increments (USA) with each pound being a modest increase over the initial rate. Combining items into one package easily brings down the rounded weight - and we save on box/mailer expenses. 3. Productivity time of processing an order decreases. 1 item takes X amount to pick, pack & ship, an additional items only increases the pick and pack time minutely. We save on labor if we are a larger operation, or allow our shipper to do more in their day if smaller. This has never been automated anywhere I have worked with using more advanced software. But, we were able to apply more than 1 order number to a package in one step. I am totally OK having to manually refund shipping charges if necessary and anyone out there that does combine shipment and does not refund shipping is not that ethical of a business (I know there are those that would do that). Most important is that not every business is the same as to how they fulfill orders, so this needs to be something that is an option (if automated) or something we can manually do on a case-by-case basis.