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Shipping Options And Tips For Small Businesses

As a new or small business, you constantly look for ways to do things more efficiently.

This not only gives your customers a brilliant experience but can also save you a ton of money. Here are a few tips for shipping like a multinational, even if you are just a one-person operation.

Key Takeaways

  • Use lightweight but sturdy shipping materials to keep costs down while protecting your products during shipping.
  • Understand all the costs involved in shipping, like package weight, destination, shipment volume, and delivery speed, to find the right balance between fast delivery and affordability.
  • Ship orders in bulk whenever possible to save money on shipping costs.
  • Invest in branded, custom packaging to make a lasting impression on customers, even on a tight budget.
  • Take advantage of advanced shipping features offered by your shipping provider to enhance the customer experience and streamline your shipping process.

Lightweight Shipping Materials 

You first need to research and invest in lightweight yet durable shipping materials. The weight of your package can drastically increase the price, but you want to maintain product security by using shipping materials that can be easily damaged or destroyed. 

Whether it be mailing boxes, shipping envelopes, or stuffing material, look for packaging that can withstand the bumps of shipping but isn’t so heavy that it drives your costs up. 

Understand Shipping Costs

You must understand all the costs of shipping, especially if you are a new business. In addition to the price of the shipping materials, the package weight, destination, the volume of your shipment, and the speed at which it is being delivered will all influence the cost. 

Finding a balance between these factors will allow you to deliver your product quickly to almost any destination while keeping your shipping as affordable as possible for you and your customers.

Ship in Bulk When Possible 

An easy tip to follow that is ideal for small businesses is to ship in bulk whenever possible. 

This can slow shipping times, but when done correctly, it can even go out, and you can get all your parcels out and into your customer's hands in no time. 

Larger companies always use this method; for example, on Amazon, if you have Prime and you buy one item that has Prime shipping and one that does not, they won’t always ship them together. Instead, they will ship both packages at a later date.

Invest in Custom Packaging

Never underestimate the power of branded and custom packaging. Even though it will be discarded once the customer has your product, if the packaging has your logo and design, it will leave a long-lasting impression on your customers compared to a plain brown box.

If you have a tight budget, there are plenty of affordable options out there if you do your research. Plus, a packaging manufacturer will give you a bulk discount nine out of ten times if you order large materials.

Use Pre-Printed Labels

Pre-printed labels are a game-changer when it comes to efficiency and time-savings. With pre-printed labels that have a barcode or QR code, you can process orders much quicker, keep up to date with your inventory, and track your packages more easily. 

What is great about these labels is that you can quickly and easily make yourself using a printer and label software. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, and keeping the process in-house will allow you to smooth out any problems much quicker. 

Use Shipping Software

In this day and age, no company, no matter how big or small, should skip shipping software. It is an all-in-one tool that can help you make labels, track tax, calculate fees, and track your products along their entire journey. 

While some software can be quite pricey, software like ShipStation has been created to help all types of businesses. Its subscription model allows you to choose a package that suits your budget and needs. 

Use Advanced Shipping Features

Always take advantage of and use advanced shipping features. These are small, customer-friendly features that drastically improve your customers' experience with you. One common advanced shipping feature that most of us use is specifying a delivery date. 

This ensures the customer receives their package when they want it and eliminates unnecessary stress. Another feature is allowing customers to leave special delivery instructions, improving their experience.  

Choose the Right Carrier

When it comes time to choose a carrier, don’t rush into a decision; there are several factors you need to consider. You need to know the scope of their service, where they don’t deliver to, their speed, etc. 

You want to ensure you use a carrier that can deliver your product at the speed you offer your customers without mishandling or damaging their product. 

Utilize Multiple Shipping Companies

If you are shipping internationally or to more remote areas, you may need to enlist the support of multiple shipping companies. For example, one may be ultra-efficient at delivering products within your country but doesn’t have any air or sea shipping options, so it can’t deliver internationally. 

This process is not as complicated as you think, as many shipping companies already have these relationships. Do your research, and talk to those involved directly to find out how they can help you get your products where they need to be.

Negotiate

Finally, always negotiate with shipping companies. Like many businesses, a relationship with these companies can yield discounts and priority service, especially if you use them regularly. 

This is very helpful with international deliveries as it can be costly to ship overseas. However, having these negotiations with shipping companies will make your wallet happy and your customer's wallet happy as well.

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