Whether you are a new e-commerce business or you have been selling online for some time, shipping costs can wreak havoc with your bottom line. Fortunately, there are ways that you can reduce the cost of shipping without it having a negative impact on your overall customer experience. This article provides 5 such examples.
1. Reduce the package weight
One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce your shipping costs is to reduce the weight of the packages that you send out. While it may only be a few cents per package, these small savings all add up over time and can save you a significant amount over the course of a year.
Some of the easiest ways to reduce package weight include using corrugated boxes that are lighter and stronger than standard cardboard boxes and using lightweight packaging materials such as bubble wrap and foam inserts.
2. Use flat-rate shipping
Offering only flat-rate shipping is another simple way to reduce your shipping costs. Flat-rate shipping means that your shipping costs are a single rate regardless of the weight, shape, or size of the item you are sending.
The beauty of flat-rate shipping is that you are converting variable costs into fixed costs. This means that you know in advance exactly how much it is going to cost you to ship a certain number of items.
3. Be vigilant of shipping costs
Shipping costs are constantly increasing, and this can break your new e-commerce business if you don’t have enough funds to cover the costs. To avoid being caught out, make sure that you stay on top of pricing changes and shop around to find the best deals.
Typically, new shipping prices are revealed at the start of the year so you can plan and adjust your budget accordingly and create a new shipping strategy if necessary.
4. Offer local delivery
If shipping costs are becoming cost-prohibitive for your e-commerce business, you may want to consider offering a local delivery or even a pick-up service. According to a report by Shopify, almost a third of shoppers bought something online and had it delivered locally during the pandemic.
To save even more money with this method, consider using fuel cards so that your delivery drivers can easily fill up when on the road without needing to pay cash or use a company credit card. You can carry out a fuel card comparison online to find the best deals in your local area.
5. Negotiate with carriers
If you are using the first carrier that you came across, then now is the time to shop around. Far too many small businesses do not realize that you can negotiate the price with carriers and simply accept the price presented to them.
If you are struggling with shipping costs, try visiting the offices of a few local carriers to see if you can find a better deal elsewhere. This doesn’t mean you have to switch carriers, but it does give you more power to negotiate with your current supplier if you know what others are charging.