7 Tips to Making Shipping Easy
1) Choosing the Right Carrier
Whether you are choosing USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, or Stamps.com, deciding on which shipping carrier to utilize will influence how your customers view your business. Customers may view your business in a positive or negative light depending on how well your shipping carrier delivers your products to your consumers. All carriers have their advantages and disadvantages, and some businesses use multiple carriers to meet specific business needs. Shipping rate is only one option. We suggest our sellers research all of the major carriers and find which are most advantageous for the success of your business.
Setting Up Shipping Account
Ecommerce retailers will find that creating a shipping account to deliver products is a straightforward, simple process. There are great advantages in setting up a shipping account, some of which include obtaining real-time shipping rates based on calculations such as size and weight as well as printing necessary labels for your shipments. Ecommerce retailers may find great benefits of using shipping APIs (application programmable interface) to include shipping capabilities into e-commerce stores as mentioned in our Shipping API article. After deciding on which shipping carrier(s) for your shipment needs, you can create an account with almost all major carriers.
Below you will find links to each major carrier’s website to create an account for your shipment needs.
- USPS: Create an Account, Web Services
- FedEx Web Services, Create an Account
- DHL: Create an Account
- UPS: Sign up
- Stamps.com: Create an Account
2) Knowing the Size and Weight of Business Products
Shipping costs for all major carriers are determined by DIM weight calculations. We highly encourage sellers to determine which carriers are most cost-effective, if the price is a deciding factor in determining the right carrier. While all carriers have their own requirements and restrictions, they all calculate shipping costs based on size and weight. It can be a tedious process to discover which carrier offers the best price for the needs of your business, therefore, a multi-carrier calculator can help you determine the right carrier. Visit https://onlineshippingcalculator.com/ to calculate the size and weight of shipments.
We understand that more than ever, packaging plays an integral role in branding efforts because it’s one of the most effective ways for an e-commerce retailer to differentiate itself from competitors. At the same time, we understand that depending on the packaging, costs will vary from carrier to carrier. There are multiple factors that are considered when pricing for packaging. Is your packaging protected with adequate material for sensitive products (i.e. glass)? Do you know which carriers to utilize considering the size and weight of packages? Small items can be delivered through envelopes, while large items must be packaged through boxes. To save on costs, consider various avenues like recycling packaging. Also, depending on the carrier, you may also be able to request free packaging in advance.
4) Have a Reliable System
Having a reliable system to get orders out is essential to ensure you are delivering orders to customers in a timely manner. The key to having orders out successfully is organization and having a reliable strategy in place. Also, sellers should consider utilizing the various software platforms that are dedicated to facilitating the shipment process. Shippo, ShippingEasy, ShipStation, are some of the best shipping platforms in the market to help you manage immense numbers of packages to be delivered. By using the power of technology, the process of getting large quantities of shipment will be much simpler and help you avoid any setbacks as a business owner. Having a strategy will save you time, money, and will keep your customer base satisfied.
5) Request Package Pickups
Through USPS, you can request package pickups for any number of orders. Package pickups are perfect for business owners that are under tight time constraints but need to deliver packages to meet the demands of buyers. There is a pickup fee, but there is no limit on the number of packages that need to be picked. USPS offers free pickups during your normal mail route. Using package pickups through USPS can assist you in reducing many of the issues that arise during the shipment process, including managing returns, recalls, and even performing repairs, which is certainly advantageous for your customers. For more information on package pickups, visit, https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-Package-Pickup.
6) Shipping Discounts
Deciding on how much to charge buyers for shipping and handling can be a difficult task to face. Sellers are well aware that buyers are willing to forgo buying a product if shipping costs are high. If you are a seller that can provide shipping discounts consider certain options that are available through your preferred carrier(s). For example, USPS offers priority flat rate shipping, which brings a level of consistency if your packages tend to be of a particular size and weight.
7) Offer Free Shipping When Possible
Countless studies have shown that buyers had to forgo buying from an online retailer if they discover that shipping costs are too high. Offer free shipping to buyers with a minimum order in place. Studies have shown that buyers were willing to add products to their online shopping cart to get free shipping. Although buyers like for their items to be delivered in a fast and timely manner, many are willing to wait for an extended period of time for their products to arrive if it means they don’t have to pay for shipping. That’s a win-win situation for both you, the seller, and your customers. We understand that sometimes offering free shipping is not the most cost-effective option for your business, especially if you are just starting your journey and an entrepreneur. This option is a cost-effective way to attract customers while ensuring profits are gained without fearing potential losses.