For any company delivering items can make business incredibly expensive, not to mention stressful. To make matters worse many eCommerce customers expect their items quickly and cheaply, meaning shipping costs need to be kept to a minimum in order to make a sale. But with all the expenses you have to pay out in order to get an item shipped to its new owner, keeping costs down whilst still delivering within an acceptable time frame can be difficult. If you are finding your unexpectedly high shipping prices are putting your customers off, it may be time to start looking at some methods that could decrease those costs. Luckily, there are ways to do so without compromising on the quality of your packing and delivery times.
Don’t guess weights
Take the time to note the exact weight of your products so you know what to charge for shipping. Guessing can only lead to disorganisation and extra unexpected charges for both you and your customers. Having exact shipping prices means you will never be under or overcharging your shoppers, which is good news for both of you. This is because you will not be undercharging and being left to pick up the extra bill for shipment if worked out lower than the actual price or your customer will not be unhappy or even put off by your unnecessarily high delivery charge. Being accurate simply means you will always charge the right amount for shipping when the item and its packaging are taken into account, an arrangement that will benefit both sides of a purchase whilst saving money and in some cases generating more sales.
Offer multiple shipping options
Give people the option to make a choice between speed and expense. Offer at least two shipping options for your customers. One at a higher cost that will definitely arrive quicker, usually within an allotted amount of time and one that is cheaper but marginally slower. Of course even with slower delivery you cannot take weeks, so be careful on how you decide to charge for this still. This way your shipping options accommodate for both kinds of customer you have, those who need their items quickly and those who prefer to save a little money. This shows them you are keeping their wallet in mind (as well as yours) and they will always know what to expect from their delivery, so no complaints about high costs and slow service to contend with. Try to ship the slower delivery items in bulk together on certain days of the week if possible to save money as you will have a little more time to play with.
Use more than one carrier
Using multiple carriers could save you money on shipping, this is because a certain company may be cheaper for one kind of shipment but expensive for others. For the best price take the time to evaluate and work out the best company for each kind of shipment. Take into account their charges for package weight and destination choosing a carrier that is better for both heavy and light parcels to far distances and heavy and light parcels to nearby destinations. This kind of method can be hard to keep up with as it’s easy to get carriers confused and parcels put in the wrong vans, but with a good plan to follow it should be easy. Have set categories for parcels to fall into to determine which carrier they go with such as the combination of their weight and destination and have every employee that handles parcels be aware of these requirements.
Buy packaging items in bulk
Save yourself a little money by buying the little things in bulk, just be sure you have somewhere to store them. Get everything you need such as boxes, envelopes, bags, tape and packing material in one bulk amount every now and again, depending on where you go and how much you buy at once this could lead to a discount on your purchase. For the best prices check out some warehouses that do specialist deals and memberships as these kinds of stores are made for bulk purchases. You are more likely to be able to get a large amount of the same item at once with great deals, they are also largely cheaper to buy from than it would be to purchase these items in a high street stationary or packing store.
Use the right packaging
The extra weight from an oversized box and the packaging needed to fill the empty space inside can add the weight on that makes it that little bit more expensive to ship. Instead carry a wide variety of boxes or packaging that will happily suit your items correctly. Making sure packaging is the right size for an item not only saves money and weight, but can reduce damage too. Make savings on damage or replacements by not using oversized packaging that items can slide around in and break, instead use a more snug box and protect the item well with bubble wrap or other packing materials. Plus, charges for smaller boxes tend to be cheaper already when they don’t take weight into account. Where possible on orders with multiple items ship them together, this saves on extra parcel charges as it would be classed as one package. This way of packing will mean the item is heavier than if they were sent alone, but the savings you make on the extra boxes are more than worth it.