With Amazon and other e-commerce giants offering lightning-fast shipping and delivery, small businesses are compelled to step up the game to stay in business.
While it's impossible for small businesses to achieve the same efficiency with which Amazon sends out their packages, you can implement some tactics to optimize your current shipping process.
Look no further, for we have curated a list of 4 simple yet effective ways to maximize the efficiency of your current shipping method whilst not going overboard with the shipping costs.
4 Simple Shipping Tips for Small Business
1. Reduce the weight of packages by eliminating unnecessary packaging materials
When you ship your packages, the shipping rate depends on the size and weight of the packages. If you include additional materials just for the aesthetics of the packaging, it might lead to unwanted shipping costs.
So what can you do?
Compactly pack your items in a way so that there's enough protection without costing you a fortune when it comes to shipping rates.
Go for lighter-weight packaging materials that don't occupy a lot of space but are pocket friendly and, at the same time, sustainable.
If you can’t buy carton boxes that match the sizes of your product and you are forced to fill it with random items, then make a custom packaging that’s suited for your product. Make it in its exact size so that you can save on the packaging materials and, subsequently, on the shipping charges.
2. Use the flat-rate shipping option whenever possible
Flat rate shipping option allows you to safely ship your items, regardless of the size, weight, and shape, at a single rate.
This means you have different items, but they all fall under the maximum allowed weight. You can predict beforehand what the shipping cost is going to be. Thus converting the variable costs to fixed costs.
When this is known, you can easily charge the customers the shipping rate based on their cart and the location they are located in.
3. Offer local delivery directly and make pickup option available
When the pandemic hit, people started turning to local businesses to purchase a variety of items that they otherwise used to buy from eCommerce or retail giants. This helped the local business grow by a significant margin.
If yours is a local business that caters to a certain locality, offer local delivery services. If that’s not possible, you can offer pickup services as well. You will be surprised as to how many customers are willing to come and collect their purchased goods in person.
Provide a good pickup experience so that the customers will be prompted to purchase from you again.
4. Keep a minimum order for free shipping
One way to prompt customers to buy more items is to offer free shipping above certain purchases. This way, you get a good profit, and only a small part would be needed to pay for the shipping.
Similarly, set a minimum purchase order value. If the person is to buy a $1 item, you can’t afford to pay $10 or so to ship it all the way to their home. If they still want the item, keep an option to pay the shipping all by themselves.
Further, if the customer wants the item by the next day, prompt the customer to pay for the express shipping charges along with their final cart value.
When you run a small business, it would be difficult to ship your products overnight and make them reach your customers’ hands by the next day. The hefty shipping price would be more than you can afford. In that case, go for the slower shipping methods.
You can even process your packages in bulk to save some extra dollars. One way to get your customers on board with the shipping practice that’s economical and sustainable is to let them know the waiting period before they hit the checkout option.
Display the shipping dates on your website if you practice bulk shipments. If not, clearly mention the expected date of arrival based on the contents in the packaging. This way, you can still abide by the low-cost shipping strategy that you follow without disappointing a valuable customer.