USPS Service Suspension to Australia

September 2nd, 2021 Comments off

9/15/2021 Update: The USPS has temporarily suspended Priority Mail International shipments to Australia as of September 17, 2021. To avoid disruption, use GlobalPost Standard or Priority Mail Express International to ship your packages to Australia. Get more info on GlobalPost Standard

The U.S. Postal Service has TEMPORARILY suspended First Class Package International Service (as of September 3, 2021) and Priority Mail International (as of September 17, 2021) delivery to Australia due to carrier issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Priority Mail Express International delivery is not being impacted and mailpieces will continue to be delivered.

If your First Class Package International Service parcel is already in transit, the international carriers will endorse the items as “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender” and then place the package in the mail stream for return. The USPS will provide a full refund of the shipping costs paid when service to the country of destination is suspended.

Alternate Delivery Options to Australia
If you have a shipment you need to send to Australia during this suspension period, we recommend the following options:

UPS International Shipping – get discounted rates up to 76% off with no peak surcharge

USPS Priority Mail Express International – get discounted rates up to 7% off Post Office rates

GlobalPost International Standard – Get door-to-door tracking capabilities to over 200 countries

What is GlobalPost International Standard?
GlobalPost International Standard uses a network of postal carriers which provides a similar service to First Class Package International Service at a lower rate.  If you don’t see GlobalPost International Standard as an option in your Stamps.com shipping software, contact Customer Care at 1-888-434-0055 (open Monday to Friday, 6 am to 6 pm PT) to request access to GlobalPost carrier services. 

UPS Ground Includes Saturday Delivery in 122 Metro Areas At No Extra Cost

August 30th, 2021 Comments off

Sometimes faster delivery – even just one day – makes all the difference. You should know that UPS includes Saturday delivery as part of their regular residential delivery schedule, so packages shipped later in the week can deliver two days faster than a weekday delivery!

UPS delivers air, international, and ground residential packages on Saturday with no additional cost or steps to get your products to your customers’ doorsteps, fast. This helps meet platform delivery requirements, too, so you can keep selling where your customers are shopping.

Eligible packages delivering to 122 major metro areas will automatically include Saturday as a potential delivery day.

UPS Saturday Delivery Coverage Expansion

Beat the weekend with Saturday delivery!

How to Add UPS Shipping to Your Stamps.com Account
Adding UPS Shipping to your Stamps.com account couldn’t be easier. Go to “Settings” in your Stamps.com account, select “Add a Carrier” and select “UPS.” Once you activate your account, you’ll be ready to ship and take advantage of all the benefits of UPS through Stamps.com.

USPS To Increase Shipping Rates For Holiday Peak Starting October 3

August 16th, 2021 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service has announced their peak holiday shipping rate increase to start on Sunday, October 3, 2021 through Sunday, December 26, 2021. The USPS introduced the peak holiday shipping rate increase in 2020, after UPS and FedEx introduced peak period increases in 2019. All three carriers noted the peak rate increase was due to higher expenses related to the increased demand in holiday e-commerce activity.

The USPS peak holiday rate increase will impact five specific mail classes for shippers using Commercial Base pricing (printing labels online) – Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First Class Package Service, Parcel Select and Parcel Return Service. New for 2021, the Peak holiday rate increase will also include Post Office (retail) shipping rates. International shipping products will not be impacted.

Listed below are the 2021 USPS holiday rate increases for customers buying postage online (Commercial Base pricing):

First Class Package Service - 2021 Holiday/Peak Increase Per Package
Mailpiece WeightZones 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
1 ounce$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
2 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
3 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
4 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
5 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
6 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
7 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
8 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
9 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
10 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
11 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
12 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
13 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
14 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
15 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30
15.999 ounces$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30$0.30

First Class Package Service will see an average rate increase of 8.0%. A 15.999 ounce package going to Zone 8 using First Class Package Service will cost $6.28 in the 2021 peak holiday period (October 3 through December 26, 2021), compared to $5.98 currently.

Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express & Parcel Select Ground - 2021 Holiday/Peak Increase Per Package

Weight (lbs.)Zones 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
0-10 lbs.$0.25$0.25$0.25$0.75$0.75$0.75$0.75$0.75
11-20 lbs.$1.50$1.50$1.50$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00$3.00
21-70 lbs.$2.50$2.50$2.50$5.00$5.00$5.00$5.00$5.00

Priority Mail will see an average rate increase of 6.3%. A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Priority Mail will cost $9.55 in the 2021 holiday period (October 3 through December 26, 2021), compared to $8.80 currently.

Priority Mail Express will see an average rate increase of 2.2%. A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Priority Mail Express will cost $40.60 in the 2021 holiday period (October 3 through December 26, 2021), compared to $39.85 currently.

Parcel Select Ground will see an average rate increase of 6.2%. A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Parcel Select Ground will cost $8.90 in the 2021 holiday period (October 3 through December 26, 2021), compared to $8.15 currently.

Priority Mail Regional Rate - 2021 Holiday/Peak Increase Per Package

Box TypeZones 1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
Box A$0.25$0.25$0.25$0.75$0.75$0.75$0.75$0.75
Box B$0.25$0.25$0.25$0.75$0.75$0.75$0.75$0.75

Priority Mail Regional Rate prices are increasing by $0.40 per shipment. A 1 lb. package going to Zone 8 using Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A will cost $13.39 in the 2021 holiday period (October 3 through December 26, 2021), compared to $12.64 currently.

Priority Mail Flat Rate - 2021 Holiday/Peak Increase Per Package

MailpieceCurrentPeak 2021Increase
Flat Rate Envelope$7.40$8.15$0.75
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$7.70$8.45$0.75
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$8.00$8.75$0.75
Small Flat Rate Box$7.90$8.65$0.75
Medium Flat Rate Box$13.75$14.50$0.75
Large Flat Rate Box$19.30$20.05$0.75
APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box$17.80$18.55$0.75

Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes are increasing by $0.75 per shipment. A Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate package going to Zone 8 will cost $14.50 in the 2021 holiday period (October 3 through December 26, 2021), compared to $13.75 currently.

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate - 2021 Holiday/Peak Increase Per Envelope

MailpieceCurrentPeak 2021Increase
Flat Rate Envelope$22.75$23.50$0.75
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$22.95$23.70$0.75
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$23.25$24.00$0.75

Priority Mail Express Flat Rate envelopes are increasing by $0.75 per shipment. A Priority Mail Express Padded Flat Rate Envelope going to Zone 8 will cost $24.00 in the 2021 holiday period (October 3 through December 26, 2021), compared to $23.25 currently.

Get more info on the USPS holiday peak shipping rate increase.

USPS To Slow Delivery for First Class Package Service

August 1st, 2021 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service will be changing delivery times for First Class Package Service in the coming months. The proposed changes are expected to create longer delivery times for parcels traveling to farther distances (Shipping Zones 6, 7 and 8).

First Class Package Service is an ounce-based shipping service with the maximum weight of 15.999 ounces. The service, which is hugely popular with apparel, jewelry and cosmetics retailers, provides package delivery nationwide within 1 to 4 days including tracking for a maximum price of $5.98.

The suggested service change will remove air transport for First Class Package Service delivery to help lower costs and find transportation efficiencies. Currently, approximately 31% of First Class Package Service is transported via air carriers.

In fiscal year 2020, the USPS shipped 1.8 billion packages via First Class Package Service. Of that volume, the proposal would impact:

• 32% of the total First Class Package Service parcels shipped in FY 2020 (primarily Zones 6, 7 and 8) would see additional delivery time, moving from a three-day service standard to a four or five-day standard.
• 64% of the total First Class Package Service volume would not be impacted at all.
• 4% of the total First Class Package Service volume would see a service upgrade from three-day to two-day service.

First Class Package Service delivery volume has increased in recent years due to its low cost and faster delivery times being very appealing to online retailers:

First Class Package Service Delivery Volume:

PeriodPackages ShippedYOY Change
FY 20181,279,000,000
FY 20191,398,000,0009% increase
FY 20201,848,000,00032% increase

3 Live Chat Extensions for Your WooCommerce Store

July 29th, 2021 Comments off

If you’ve added WooCommerce to your WordPress website, you now have a fully functional e-commerce website.

Want to up your game even more? Improve customer experience and increase sales by adding live chat.

Benefits of Adding Live Chat to Your WooCommerce Store

Although online shopping is extremely convenient, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate. A live chat extension makes things easier by allowing customers to message a live chat agent directly for help. They simply need to click a window whenever they need assistance.

This immediate, real-time feedback is crucial to getting customers the information they need to make a purchase. As the site owner, if you don’t create a seamless purchasing process, the potential customer may just click away, go to your competitor’s site, and buy the item there. Live chat keeps them on your site and greatly increases the likelihood that they’ll buy from you.

According to the American Marketing Association, Live Chat on your B2B website will increase conversions by 20% on average!

What Live Chat Extensions Can You Add?

Here are three chat extensions you can add to your WooCommerce store.

#1 LiveChat

This extension is fully customizable, so you can choose a theme, pick a color, add your company logo, and more. The chat widget is attractive and user-friendly. Optional tracking settings allow you to see your customers’ cart details during a chat, including product information, quantity, and previous orders. You can send time-based invitations to hesitant shoppers, as well as motivational messages to those whose carts have reached a certain dollar value.

You can also hold multiple chats simultaneously, send prepared responses to FAQs, tag your chats, and send files through the chat widget. The monthly rate for LiveChat starts at $16.

#2 WhatsApp

With upwards of 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is the world’s most widely used messenger app. Visitors to your site can use the WhatsApp extension to ask questions, and you can enable the WhatsApp Cart feature so customers can add items to the WhatsApp cart and even place orders on WhatsApp. It doesn’t replace your standard cart system; it simply provides customers with another option.

This extension allows you to customize backgrounds and label colors, choose which products and categories show the WhatsApp add-to-cart button, hide prices and the standard add-to-cart button, keep a record of all WhatsApp orders, and more. WhatsApp costs $49 per year.

#3 Woo Bot

This is a simple chatbot that helps visitors search for products. You can configure the welcome message and respond to all unanswered questions. You can also set offers and coupons in the welcome message, enticing visitors to look at products they wouldn’t otherwise consider.

Woo Bot’s features include product search, product thumbnails with a link to the product page, customizable themes and backgrounds, prepared responses to FAQs, email notifications for new questions, chat logs, and more. Woo Bot costs $29 per year.

Improve your website, enhance customer experience, and increase sales with a live chat extension on your WooCommerce store!

Stamps.com connects directly to WooCommerce!

Connect Stamps.com to WooCommerce and easily import, manage, and ship your E-Commerce orders. Here are great features to simplify your WooCommerce Shipping:

  • Import order data directly from WooCommerce
  • Print USPS and UPS shipping labels in one step
  • Automatically send tracking info to your customers
  • Automatically post back order and tracking info to your store
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