Recent market research found that roughly 75% of customers expect the companies they order from to offer them shipping. This held true even if the item had a value of less than $60.
As a small business owner, you know firsthand just how much shipping costs can eat into your profits.
You want to be able to stay in the black, but you also want to meet consumer demand.
You need to learn how to save money on shipping — and fast.
This post will tell you the top ways to lower your shipping fees and keep your customers happy.
1. Increase Consumer Price
We know what you’re thinking — won’t a higher price for items drive potential buyers away?
Interestingly, 90% of customers say that free shipping is their number-one incentive to shop online more often than in-person.
This means that even if you have to bump up your item cost by $10-$15 to cover the shipping, psychologically, seeing that “free shipping” offer is enough to make customers forget about the higher cost.
Don’t believe us?
Give it a try and see the results for yourself.
2. Switch Up Shipping Insurance
What’s another great and easy way to keep business shipping rates low?
Instead of using the shipping insurance that your carrier offers, look into third-party shipping insurance options.
They’re much more affordable, and they offer the same quality of services. This is an especially helpful trick for companies that sell higher-end, expensive items that carry high shipping insurance fees.
3. Re-Examine Your Packages
In your haste to get your packages out the door as quickly as possible, you may be making a major mistake that’s eating into your profits.
Take a look at the current size of your shipping envelopes and boxes. Are they often too big and heavy for the items you’re shipping?
Could you get away with a padded/bubble envelope instead of a box?
If so, then you should make the switch to lighter, more affordable packaging.
To avoid compromising brand integrity, look into customized shipping envelopes or custom-printed tissue paper to wrap items in.
4. Print Your Own Stamps and Shipping Labels
We know that no one likes to spend tons of time at the post office.
But often, you’ll end up saving more than just time if you opt to print out your stamps and shipping labels at your office.
You’ll also be able to save on tracking, compliance archives, and avoid monthly fees and the costs of software.
But how much will printing your own shipping labels cost?
This common question is answered by the pros at Certified Mail Labels, along with tips on other ways to cut shipping costs.
If you’re working with a shipping services company, never forget that one of the most effective ways to keep shipping costs low is to negotiate!
Especially if you know you’re an important client, there’s no reason you shouldn’t ask for a deal. This rings true even if you only ship about 100 packages each month.
Often, shipping companies don’t list their best deals online, as they only give them to people that ask for them.
6. Schedule Pick-Up and Delivery
Many small business owners simply aren’t aware that there’s no need to pay an expensive shipping company to pick up and deliver your packages.
Instead, the United States Postal Service can take care of that for you.
As long as you schedule your services ahead of time, your postal worker can pick up even multiple packages to take back to the post office on their regular route.
If you’re willing to pay a bit extra, you can even have the carrier come to your office and pick up your packages at a specific time of day. You can also schedule a time for the postal carrier to deliver any returns from customers directly to your door.
This way, you won’t have to worry about rearranging your schedule in order to accommodate a pick-up or delivery.
7. Try a Flat-Rate Shipping Charge
One final tip on how to keep shipping costs low?
When in doubt, charge a flat-rate shipping fee.
Often (especially if you’re newer to e-commerce) you end up charging some customers way too much for shipping, and others way too little.
To avoid all this, switch to a flat-rate fee.
This usually works best for companies that have products that are all roughly the same size and weight. It’s also a good choice for those businesses who have a majority of customers within a specific geographic area.
Going with a flat-rate option means that you have one less thing to worry about.
Don’t Let Shipping Fees Eat up Your Profits
While shipping fees are certainly a concern for small businesses, we hope this post has helped you to realize that there are things you can do to keep costs down.
Remember to offer free shipping whenever you can to increase customer loyalty and encourage people to make bigger purchases.
You can also opt to offer free shipping only if a customer buys over a certain dollar’s worth of items.
Looking for more advice about how to decrease your operating costs while you get your new business off the ground? Curious about how to make the best possible custom packaging for your products? Need to master social media to get your business noticed online?
Our blog is filled with incredible tips on how to run a profitable business and grow your target market at the same time.
Keep reading our posts to stay ahead of your competitors.