For quite some time now, shipping costs have been a major obstacle for many ecommerce businesses, taking a toll on their bottom line. When it comes to shipping your products, several factors, including packaging materials and weight, can drive costs. If you’re not careful, these costs can quickly accumulate, leading to unnecessary extra fees.
In this article, we’ll share the top 10 ways you can save money on shipping. From leveraging technology to embracing strategic packaging practices, you can reduce shipping costs, enhance your business, and maintain financial prudence and efficiency.
Let’s dive in!
Optimize Your Packaging
These days, packaging goes beyond being confined to boxes or cartons. It impacts product reliability, quality, speed, shipping costs, and flexibility. You can save money for your business if you use less material and optimize your packaging.
Additionally, since more and more companies are going green, it is best to utilize more environmentally friendly packing supplies, which can have longer life cycles and have less of an impact on the environment.
Here are some ways to optimize your packaging and reduce shipping costs:
- Choose lightweight and custom packaging materials to reduce package weight.
- Reduce the dimensional weight (height, width, length) of your packaging. You can do this by choosing smaller boxes, eliminating filler materials (e.g., packing peanuts or bubble wrap), and arranging the items efficiently. Minimizing empty spaces and using packaging tailored to the product’s size can significantly reduce dimensional weight. It is very unnecessary to send a little product in a huge box.
- Try using corrugated boxes, as they are sturdier and cheaper (boxes that are shaped with ridges or folds).
Speaking of more sustainable options, Samsung introduced
Go For Discounted Supplies
It’s worth looking into discounted shipping supplies as they can have a substantial impact on your shipping expenses. By taking advantage of sales and discounts, you can stock up on packaging supplies such as boxes, tape, and any packing material at a lower cost.
We suggest performing a sales forecast for the next quarter and stocking up on supplies in advance. This can ultimately lead to more competitive pricing for your products and allow you to save on avoidable costs in the future.
Go For Bulk Purchases
In addition to finding discounted packaging materials, another way to save money on shipping is to purchase in bulk. Buying in bulk saves money in the long term since you obtain a lower overall cost when you buy more at once. It also guarantees that you always have enough supplies on hand to fulfill requests quickly, reducing the need for reordering.
Buying in bulk also avoids the risk of sudden cost spikes, as material cost fluctuations can wreck a business’s bottom line. Additionally, it allows for more accessible organization and storage of shipping supplies, making the entire shipping process more efficient.
Overall, buying shipping supplies in bulk is a smart investment for any business looking to streamline its shipping processes and save money.
Use Discounted Shipping Carriers
Shipping discounts directly impact profit margins, allowing for competitive pricing and potential sales growth. These discounted shipping rates can also offer customers attractive incentives, such as free or discounted shipping, enhancing their appeal.
Online businesses have many options when looking at discounted shipping rates:
- Using shipping calculators for accurate estimates
- Taking advantage of bulk shipping options
- Negotiate shipping rates based on shipping volumes
- Join shipping loyalty programs and other exclusive discounts
- Stay informed about seasonal promotions and special offers from shipping carriers.
Discounted shipping carriers vary by location, and a quick Google search for discounted shipping near me should give you some great options to choose from.
If you sell online with Ecwid by Lightspeed, buying discounted shipping labels for your orders is easy. You can actually do that right in your Ecwid admin! This way, purchasing and printing shipping labels is as cheap, efficient, and convenient as possible.
Learn more about the process in our article below:
If you’re just getting started with your store, you’ll also find this instruction on initial shipping setup helpful.
Offer Customers Shipping Advantages Strategically
Strategically providing customers with perks is essential when shipping packages. In a competitive market, emphasizing all shipping benefits is critical for increasing sales, retention, and brand perception.
Here are some of the strategic ways to provide shipping advantages to enhance the customer shopping experience:
- Implement tiered shipping choices, providing customers faster delivery for a premium price or more affordable solutions for customers on a tighter budget (Did you know that 88% of consumers will pay for
- Create free shipping thresholds to encourage larger purchases
hassle-freereturns with prepaid shipping labels, boosting customer confidence
- Collaborate with loyalty programs to grant shipping perks, incentivizing repeat purchases
- Regularly communicate shipping updates and provide tracking information for transparency.
Tailoring the shipping strategy to customer preferences creates a competitive edge and nurtures customer loyalty, leading to a stronger brand relationship and sustained growth.
For example, the online fashion retailer, Fashion Nova, offers free
If you’d like to encourage customers to add more products to the cart to get free shipping, you can do so by adding a promo bar or using the apps from the Ecwid App Market. Check out apps like Free Shipping Bar and AOV Progress Bar.
Protect Your Shipments
Shipping insurance is an ideal way to safeguard investments and provide peace of mind. Shipping insurance protects against loss, damage, or theft during transit, ensuring you are not financially burdened if unforeseen incidents occur.
While a small business must pay for insurance, it is less expensive than paying for all shipping charges and other potential losses. Aside from saving money on shipping costs, it increases customer trust because customers prefer to buy from stores that offer
To choose the ideal shipment protection, you can consider these elements:
- Assess your shipping volume, product value, and risk tolerance
- Research reputable insurance providers and carriers that are offering comprehensive coverage for specific items
- Compare deductibles, coverage limits, and premium insurance costs to find a balanced option
- Read policy terms carefully, taking note of exclusions and claim processes
- Prioritize providers with transparent claims handling and positive customer reviews.
By the way, when you buy shipping labels in your Ecwid admin, you can see if a label’s price includes insurance:
Flat-Rate Shipping Rates
This method is beneficial for sending items of various sizes within a predefined packaging type. While it might not always be the most economical choice for all shipments, it can be advantageous for heavier or bulkier items, providing cost savings compared to standard shipping rates.
You can maximize
- Fit the expensive items or heavy packages into the predetermined packaging, utilizing cost predictability.
- Upgrade packaging to maximize space within the box. For example, when you’re shipping shoes. You can upgrade packaging by using shoeboxes that fit each pair snugly, stacking them efficiently, and adding shoe inserts to prevent movement. This minimizes wasted space, reduces shipping costs, and keeps the shoes protected, all while optimizing space within the box.
flat-rateshipping’s perks to customers, emphasizing convenience and savings.
- Consider using it for free shipping offers to boost order values.
- Regularly review its suitability based on market trends and customer preferences.
If you sell online with Ecwid, here’s how to set up
Compare Shipping Costs
You should always do your research and compare shipping fees to maximize profit margins and customer satisfaction. You can determine the cheapest way to ship packages for specific products and destinations by comparing rates from multiple carriers.
As a result, you can offer competitive shipping charges and prevent excessive delivery costs.
Comparing costs ensures customers receive affordable and efficient shipping, enhancing their shopping experience. Furthermore, it enables you to adjust to shifting market conditions, maintain competition, and allocate resources wisely.
To accurately compare shipping rates, you should follow these steps:
- Gather the necessary details about the shipment, such as shipping destination address (mainly when you ship internationally)
- Get quotes from multiple shipping companies, especially major carriers, to identify your shipment’s most competitive rates. Many of them provide shipping calculators on their website
- Include any extra fees like fuel surcharges, residential delivery charges, or special handling fees
- Compare the delivery speeds, such as priority shipping, expedited shipping, and fast shipping, choosing the most suitable shipping method that aligns with the shipment urgency
- When shipping internationally, it is important to think about customs duties, taxes, potential delays, and higher shipping costs. These vary greatly between carriers, so keep an eye out.
If you have an Ecwid store, it’s easy to compare shipping rates using the apps from the Ecwid App Market.
Take Advantage Of Online Shipping Tools
Ecommerce shipping tools are
These tools enhance efficiency, cut costs, and help you provide reliable and
By the way, on Ecwid, you can set up
Most major carriers and shipping companies offer different shipping software to their clients, but the common ones are:
- Shipping calculators: This shipping software provides
real-timeshipping cost calculations based on package size, weight, and shipping destination.
- Label generation: This shipping software allows you to create and print labels without issues, reducing manual data entry and minimizing errors.
- Address validation: This shipping software can verify and correct recipient addresses, avoiding delivery issues and potential returns.
- Tracking and notifications: Tracking and automated notifications keep you and your customers updated about delivery progress.
- Ecommerce platform integrations: Find shipping software that seamlessly integrates with popular ecommerce platforms, streamlining order processing and label generation.
- Returns management: This can help you facilitate the return management of shipments, making the process smoother for both you and your customers.
Reduce Shipping Costs by Consolidating Shipments
Shipment consolidation involves combining multiple smaller shipments into a single, larger shipment before transportation. This shipping strategy optimizes shipping efficiency by reducing the number of individual loads and maximizing space utilization.
For example, consider an electronics ecommerce business receiving orders from various customers. They have several orders with individual items to be shipped to the same city. Instead of sending each order separately, the ecommerce business consolidated the shipments. They compiled the items from different orders, properly packaged them together, and created a single shipment load. This consolidated shipment is then sent to the destination city.
Customers receive consolidated shipments through various methods:
- Pick up from the distribution centers: Orders are first shipped to a central distribution hub where they are consolidated. Customers can choose to pick up their orders from the center or have them delivered from there.
Last-miledelivery: After consolidation, orders are sent to a local distribution hub, where they are then dispatched to customers’ addresses via traditional last-miledelivery services.
- Retail store pickup: Some retailers offer the option for customers to pick up their consolidated orders at a nearby physical store. Here’s how to set up an
in-storepickup for your Ecwid store.
- Locker delivery: In certain regions, shippers may use locker systems for consolidated shipments, where customers receive a unique code to retrieve their packages from a secure locker.
- Residential delivery: In cases where consolidation happens en route, customers will receive their consolidated orders at their doorstep through standard residential delivery services.
This can help you save money and lower shipping costs, as carriers often offer
This approach is handy for businesses shipping smaller quantities of goods to the same destination, allowing them to benefit from economies of scale while maintaining
You can effectively consolidate shipments by following these simple steps:
Planning before consolidating shipments ensures efficient grouping, proper packaging, and smooth logistics, minimizing delays and errors and maximizing
Check Shipping Policies
It is crucial to check the consolidation services’ shipping policies, as it ensures compatibility with your needs, clarifies rules on package types, weight, and prohibited items, and helps sellers make wise decisions.
Group Similar Destinations
Grouping packages reduces routing complexities, optimizes delivery routes, and minimizes transit times. This efficient approach enhances customer satisfaction by ensuring timely deliveries while potentially reducing shipping costs through consolidated shipments.
Coordinate Arrival Times
Coordinating arrival times allows sellers to efficiently combine items without delays, minimize storage costs, and optimize packaging.
Thoughtful packaging guarantees secure item handling, avoids damage during merging and transit, and maximizes space efficiency. It ensures that items arrive in perfect condition, assuring customer satisfaction and reducing any additional costs.
Providing clear guidelines helps consolidation services combine packages accurately and efficiently. Instructions ensure items are grouped accordingly, minimizing errors, optimizing packaging, and facilitating a seamless consolidation.
Shipping Cost Considerations
Awareness of expenses guides decisions, ensuring that consolidation remains economically beneficial while maintaining quality shipping services.
Documentation and Customs
Properly completed documents ensure compliance with regulations, preventing delays or issues at customs. Accurate paperwork facilitates efficient customs clearance, minimizing the risk of disruptions and ensuring smooth delivery to international customers.
Start Saving on Shipping
Shipping is expensive, but it does not have to destroy your margins. You’ll be surprised at how low your shipping expenses can get once you optimize your operations.
By following the tips we’ve detailed in this article, you should learn how to minimize shipping costs, optimize your resources, and choose the best possible service, all while keeping your customers happy.
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