Shipping is the physical transport of goods from one point to another and is one of the most critical procedures of any subscription business. After all, shipping is part of the fulfillment process — the process that gets your goods into your customers’ hands. Without proper shipping procedures or good shipment facilities, your subscription box company (and everything else eCommerce!) would be null and void.
Considering how vital this aspect of fulfillment truly is, it’s important not to skimp on it. At the same time, however, fast, reliable shipping can be expensive. How are you supposed to reduce the price while still giving customers a great experience? Well, we’ve got a few tricks of the trade to share.
Ship Subscription Boxes
A cubic weight system or dimension weight shipping is one of the most effective ways to reduce subscription box shipment costs. That’s because the size of the package is considered and the weight when factoring in costs. So, heavy but small packages might end up cheaper to ship than bulky and unwieldy ones, helping you out in the long run. What qualifies under this varies by company, but most shipments weighing less than 20 pounds and measuring less than .5 cubic feet volume are typically eligible.
Cubic rating is based on five different stages, which can be determined with the following formula: Length*Width* Height/1728= Cubic Feet. Although this shipping factor can be difficult to obtain, fulfillment centers can negotiate with the major mail carriers on behalf of customers and help get packages qualified for cubic weight shipping to save cash.
Use of UPS SurePost to send Shipment Boxes
Another best way to have low-priced shipping is by using UPS SurePost or FedEx SmartPost. It is a highly reliable shipping provider having a vast number of locations, and their shipping dashboard is easy to track. While the weight of shipments is certainly factored into the cost, one of the most expensive charges relies on the distance covered by the delivery trucks. By choosing SurePost or SmartPost, you can help reduce associated fees as prices fluctuate on the selected locations.
SurePost serves in picking up the mailing packages from the customer's site and delivering it to the final zone for local mail carriers to pick up and add to their routes. This can then save not only money but also time, making SurePost/SmartPost incredible resources for any subscription box service. It can also help translate into extra savings for customers, so everyone wins in the end.
Discounts from a Fulfillment Center
Another great way to save a bit on shipping? Use discounts from a fulfillment center. They’ll help negotiate with the rates as they work directly with the materials manufacturers and get different purchases (boxes, packing materials, printers, and labels) at wholesale prices. That’ll save on your end, as buying these items retail and using them in fulfillment can quickly add up over time.
And in case of any trouble, good fulfillment centers in the business will usually send out the correction with no extra charges. Ultimately, this may translate to entirely outsourced fulfillment, becoming the best solution for your business, significantly when one adds up all the discounts fulfillment centers can get (shipping carrier discounts, packaging materials purchased at wholesale price, reduced labor costs, etc.). Of course, what’s best is incredibly individual. Give it some thorough thought and maybe refer to our fulfillment guide for more information.
Carrier Evaluation and Reliability:
Your business depends on the timely arrival of your cargo to the right destinations. A reliable carrier will contribute to your business's positive reputation and help it grow by meeting, if not exceeding, customer expectations. Choosing a carrier that values transparency above all is also very important.
For the best experience possible, one should evaluate the carrier services on the following basis:
- Cost — What is the cost to ship small packages weighing under 20 pounds? How much is charged based on distance?
- Reliability — What are the chances of timely delivery? Is the company I’m looking at generally quick? What about safety? Do they have a good reputation with keeping track of packages and keeping them in good condition?
- Deliverability — Can the company actually deliver the packages, or will they run into issues? Do they have good coverage? Is there any address flexibility?
- Ease of Access — Can customers easily track packages, or are they left in the dark? Is tracking information clear and consistent, or are there any issues?
By answering these questions and finding a shipment company that checks all the boxes, you’ll get a better price and better experience for you and your customers.