One of the areas where many small businesses tend to struggle is with their shipping costs. Often, online businesses will think about the cost of their products without ever considering the cost of shipping.
How much shipping costs should always be one of the first things that are considered, though. Failure to do so could mean a loss of profit now and going forward for small and medium-sized companies.
Why Shipping is Crucial for Your Business
Consider the amount of money that is spent on shipping annually. The amount your business is spending on shipping costs will directly affect your bottom line. Few companies can afford to waste money in this area.
Amazon spent $37.9 billion in shipping and delivery in 2019. This is a mind-boggling amount of money, and there simply aren’t other retailers that could invest this type of money in shipping. They only do it because they have to do it. They were created to be fast and convenient. Amazon doesn’t have any other choice.
However, small businesses in the eCommerce world like yours can’t spend this type of money. You have to be smarter with your shipping costs. Amazon FBA could be a good option to consider, as it lets you outsource many aspects of your business including shipping by Amazon.
Calculate Your Shipping Costs
The best way to reduce shipping costs is to know how much those costs are in the first place. How much does shipping cost? This will give you a number from which you can work, and as you make changes, you can see how well your efforts are going to reduce shipping costs.
Some of the factors to consider when determining the costs include the package weight, package dimensions, origin and destination, delivery times, duties taxes, special handling, insurance, and carrier. Take the time to properly calculate your shipping costs.
Ways to Reduce Shipping Costs
Fortunately, you will find that there are many ways to reduce the shipping costs for your online business whether you are selling books, electronics, or anything else. Check out the options below to learn more about how to keep those costs to a minimum.
Use Efficient Shipping Methods
First, consider the methods being used for shipping products for your eCommerce business. You might find that there are better and ultimately cheaper options available.
Decrease Distance in Shipping
Shipping to faraway destinations can increase the shipping costs. Shipping zones are geographical shipping areas numbered Zone 1 to Zone 8. When you have to ship to zones that are far away, the shipping costs increase. It can be helpful to partner with companies that have several fulfillment centers. This allows items to ship from different destinations depending on where it is going and can keep the shipping costs down.
Switch from Boxes to Poly Mailers
Boxes tend to be heavier, bulkier, and more expensive to ship. Poly mailers can work well for a wide range of products, and this can help to cut back on the expenses of shipping.
Reduce Package Dimensions
The larger a box is, the more it will cost to ship in most cases. Reducing the size of the boxes being used to send your products can provide reduced shipping costs.
Leverage Shipping Discounts
Another way to reduce the cost of shipping is to find ways to get more discounts on shipping. There is the potential from discounts to save quite a bit of money for your eCommerce shipping costs.
Check Offers from Your Selling Marketplace(s) or Platform(s)
In some cases, the platforms that power the eCommerce store you own or the marketplace where you sell might offer bulk discounts for shipping. They could have a range of features and options including shipping apps and integrations with fulfillment software that could help provide you with better rates.
Consider Going Prepaid
Opting for prepaid shipping could help you save up to 20% from carriers like FedEx and UPS. It is possible to buy shipping labels upfront and then add them to your packages as you need them.
Insure Shipments with Third Parties
You can also reduce the number of extra services, such as insurance for packages. Not all packages may need to be insured. For those that do, consider a third-party insurance company. These will often be more affordable than using your carrier. It could reduce insurance costs by up to 50% in some cases.
Optimize Shipping Methods
You also want to find ways that you can better optimize how you are shipping with better options. Below are some simple suggestions that can help.
Use Third Party Logistics Fulfillment
Working with a third-party logistics (3PL) company fulfillment can be a huge benefit and provide many savings. It allows the experts to take care of this aspect of the business, which can save time, effort, and money. It means you won’t need to rent a warehouse, hire more staff, pay extra for utilities, etc. The shipping and fulfillment can be handled for you.
Shop Hybrid Services
It might also be a good idea to look into hybrid services. FedEx SmartPost and UPS SurePost are two examples. They can connect with other carriers to provide last-mile delivery. This has the potential to reduce shipping costs substantially. However, they do often take longer to deliver.
Partnering with a 3PL to Lower Shipping Costs
Choosing to work with a 3PL company is a good option.
This is because a 3PL can provide major savings for small business shipping costs, along with other cases. It used to be that these types of companies only offered help with transportation and warehousing. However, they can help with a wide range of operations needs today.
Choosing Print Bind Ship as Your 3PL Partner
If you are looking for a quality 3PL company that can provide you with a wide range of services, make it a point to contact Print Bind Ship today. We can provide help with production, picking and packing, inventory management, warehousing, shipping, reverse logistics, freight shipping, and more.