How you manage small business shipping, returns and fulfillment can make or break a small business. In the age of Amazon Prime, customers are expecting to receive products quicker than ever. Not only that, but they also have high expectations of the unboxing experience they have and how their product arrives.
To top it off, customers are expecting more transparency in the supply chain. Meaning fulfillment processes are now in the spotlight. And, of course, customers like to know that they can easily return a product should it not meet their needs.
While shipping is a vital part of any eCommerce business, with all the different options available to businesses, it can be overwhelming to decide which route to take. Not only that, but shipping can be expensive. In fact, research has suggested that one of the biggest expenses for small businesses is shipping. Thankfully, there are lots of simple things you can do to reduce the shipping costs in your small business. Here are some of our top tips to help you:
1. Negotiate with Shipping Companies
You do not have to sell thousands of items a week to get discounted shipping rates. While higher shipping volume can reduce the cost of shipping, even small businesses can save money by shopping around for cheaper prices and negotiating rates with shipping companies. There is no harm in asking for a reduction in costs in exchange for loyalty to a single shipping provider, just make sure that the delivery times and shipping solutions are not affected.
2. Look at Your Shipping Insurance
One of the best tips we can give you in terms of saving money on your shipping costs is to use a shipping insurance company, such as eCabrella.com, which offers cheaper shipping insurance for small businesses. Using the right shipping insurance provider could reduce your shipping insurance costs by up to 90%. Not only that, but these companies can also help to increase your productivity and provide peace of mind that your parcels are tracked and safe.
3. Reduce Your Packaging
The size and weight of a package can significantly affect the price you pay for shipping. This means that by reducing the amount of packaging around your products, your shipping costs should reduce. An easy way to reduce the amount of packaging is to ensure that small products are not placed in oversized boxes. Another option is to use the courier’s packaging. Using the courier’s packaging usually means you do not have to pay the dimensional fees.
Research has shown that almost 73% of customers expect their orders to be delivered swiftly and at a reasonable price. While it can be tempting to offer your shoppers extremely low shipping prices to persuade them to use your business, in doing so, it can have a negative impact on your profit margin. This is why it is extremely important to find ways to reduce your shipping costs. If you run a small business, then make sure you follow some of our top tips above to cut the cost of shipping and improve profit margins.