Shipping costs can be a big expense for small businesses, especially if you are shipping products to customers all over the country (or even internationally). If you’re not careful, those shipping costs can eat into your profits and make it difficult to sustain your business. Here are six tips to help you reduce your shipping costs and keep more of your hard-earned money.
1. Use Less Packaging
One of the easiest ways to reduce your shipping costs is to use less packaging. This might seem counterintuitive — wouldn’t using more packaging protect your products better and therefore cost less in the long run? In some cases, yes. But in most cases, using less packaging will actually save you money.
That’s because the weight of your shipment is one of the biggest factors that determine shipping costs. So, if you can ship your product using less packaging without sacrificing safety, you’ll automatically reduce your shipping costs.
2. Shop Around for Shipping Rates
Don’t just go with the first shipping company you find. Take the time to shop around and compare rates from different companies. You might be surprised at how much rates can vary from one company to the next. And those savings can add up quickly, especially if you are shipping many products.
Before you commit to a certain shipping company, make sure you also consider the level of customer service they provide. It’s important to have reliable and responsive shipping partners — especially if any issues arise during delivery.
3. Measure Your Shipping Success
It can be difficult to know what areas you need to improve upon in terms of shipping if you don’t measure your current shipping success. So, make sure you have systems in place to measure things like delivery speed and accuracy, customer satisfaction with the shipping process, and overall shipping costs. This will help you identify any potential problem areas and make changes to improve upon them.
You can also use this data to negotiate better rates with your shipping companies — if you can show that you consistently have a high volume of shipments, they may be willing to offer discounts or other incentives.
4. Ship in Bulk
If you can ship multiple products in one box, you’ll save on both packaging and shipping costs. That’s because most shipping companies offer discounts for bulk shipments. So, if you have multiple orders going to the same general area, see if you can combine them into one shipment to take advantage of those discounts.
When doing this, just ensure that you are still providing appropriate packaging for each product to ensure they arrive safely at their destination. No savings are worth a damaged or unsatisfied customer.
5. Use Flat Rate Shipping Boxes Whenever Possible
If you’re selling smaller items and shipping through the United States Postal Service (USPS), take advantage of their flat rate boxes whenever possible. These boxes come in various sizes, and as long as your product fits inside, you’ll pay a set price for shipping regardless of the weight or distance it’s being shipped.
When choosing a box, make sure to select one that leaves enough room for packing material, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts, to ensure your product arrives safely. No one wants a damaged product returned because it wasn’t properly protected during shipping.
6. Offer Free Shipping
Free shipping can be a great selling point for customers and may even entice them to add more products to their carts. But offering free shipping doesn’t mean you have to absorb all the costs yourself. Consider factoring the cost of shipping into the overall price of your product. Or, if you have a minimum purchase amount for free shipping, this can also help offset the cost.
You can also offer free shipping as a promotional deal from time to time — just make sure it’s within your budget and will still allow you to turn a profit. And always clearly communicate any terms or conditions that apply to your free shipping offer. Not every customer will qualify, and you don’t want to disappoint them with unexpected shipping fees at checkout.
Shipping costs can be a big expense for small businesses — but they don’t have to be! Following these six tips can reduce your shipping costs and keep more of your hard-earned profits. From using less packaging to negotiating shipping rates, there are plenty of ways to save on shipping without sacrificing quality or service levels. So start putting these tips into practice today and see how much money you can save!