It seems challenging to ship goods when you own a small business or start-up. As customer satisfaction is the primary focus, in-time product delivery will have a significant positive impact. Starting from product manufacturing to delivery, you must focus on various strategies for reliable shipping. As the order increases, the stress for small business shipping increases. In this post, let's focus on the different shipping types, factors to consider for shipping, and cost-reducing options. Also, it will help you find a suitable shipping carrier for your business.
Different Types Of Shipping For Small Businesses
In the emerging e-commerce business world, if you want your business to flourish better, you must be aware of the different types of shipping for small business solutions. Implementing suitable shipping types in your business will increase the customer base. You need to focus on the most secure shipping methods. Below are the different types of shipping you can invest in.
This shipping method is the most advantageous for small businesses. It is also considered the safest shipping option. When the company is based on delivering goods to a particular location can invest in local delivery. With this shipping mode, businesses can provide to the B2B location of the consumers. Moreover, local pick-up options will increase the customer experience.
Overnight shipping is the same-day delivery type, where the products are delivered overnight once the order is placed. When businesses partner with a suitable carrier offering overnight shipping can reduce pre-negotiated discounts.
Related: Cheapest Overnight Shipping Options for Retailers
You can transport large quantities of goods to several locations through freight shipping. Cargo, commodities, and goods are transported via air, land, or sea. Freight shipping is further categorized into ocean freight via ship, ground freight via truck transport, air freight via planes, and multimodal freight. Shipping costs and time are the factors that get affected based on the mode of transportation, destination, weight, etc.
Related: Importance of Freight Forwarding in your Business
Considerations When Shipping for Small business
Small businesses must consider some essential factors for shipping before investing or taking initiatives. Below are the significant considerations for shipping options for small businesses.
Small businesses check the maximum number of orders it is delivering every month. This factor plays a crucial role in finding the right solution. Companies that have just started their online selling must have different strategies to manage their order volume. While managing larger order volumes, it is necessary to negotiate for cost-effective small business shipping rates. With the best shipping solutions, your business can enjoy maximum benefits. For example, packaging and delivery discounts from 3PL order fulfillment providers.
Choose your product packaging wisely. Service providers offer to ship with high protection and brand advertisement. Goods protection should be the primary consideration. Businesses must evaluate the protection level needed for their products. Moreover, different product types have various packaging options; hence, choose them accordingly. For example, you can use bubble wrap for extra protection to ship fragile items.
Heavy packages can go expensive unless you choose a flat-rate route. Therefore, it is essential to consider the dimensional weight of the products. Large box types have heavy DIM weight, which results in high shipping costs. Hence, you can go for the small boxes type if it assists your product with security. The average package dimensions determine overall shipping costs.
The weight of the package depends on the package size. It doesn't consider its actual weight. Hence, you will get expensive for large light parcels but affordable for smaller and heavier parcels. Therefore, decide on the appropriate size for shipping. For determining the rates, always ensure you enter the package dimensions.
Related: How To Weigh Packages At Home?
Distance is another major factor to consider. International shipping is more expensive than domestic. It even impacts what your customers expect. Most of them expect affordable and quick service. A carrier that provides the perfect balance of cost and time will be beneficial. Small businesses may need more options and should accept the charges. However, they can take advantage of 3PL or fulfillment centers centrally located. For example, if your products are frequently sent to a particular location, you can outsource a fulfillment center.
How to Choose a Suitable Shipping Carrier for Your Business
Shipping carriers must be chosen carefully. Especially while finding small business shipping services, you should focus on the critical factors before investing. Here are the top factors to consider to select a suitable shipping carrier.
A reliable carrier will help to maintain your organization's reputation. Therefore, ensure that the service provider is highly reliable for shipping. You can evaluate the trustworthy factor by considering the carrier's level of service rates. The carrier will be reliable if you find the LOS rates are higher.
Check The Safety Standards
The safety of the products is a significant concern for small businesses. It is essential to check their safety standards because you must trust them with cargo worth millions of dollars. You have to check their insurance updates and go through log-keeping practices. Check review sites for safety ranking. The carrier must have good accountability and protocols for accident or damage prevention.
Check The Costs And Services
Going for a cheaper option will never be reliable. Most affordable carriers are only sometimes the best option for small businesses. You can check for reasonable prices along with good service quality. Better to avoid carriers that are available at cheaper rates but need more quality service. It's best to find another option. Lack of high-quality shipping will cause unnecessary stress for small businesses. And your business will end up with dissatisfied customers and revenue loss.
Related: How Long Does Expedited Shipping Take?
Benefits Of Using A Fulfillment Service For Small Businesses
Get Benefit From Their Expertise
When you outsource your shipping with the help of an experienced 3PL service provider, your small business will gain experience from its experts. Moreover, your business will be aware of the latest software and techniques used for shipping. Hence, when you partner with a fulfillment services provider, your shipping process will become seamless.
Small businesses also look forward to improving their customer reach. Business owners should keep themselves busy crafting products, building marketing campaigns, and much more. The burden of shipping can lack your focus. Therefore, when you outsource to a fulfillment center, you don't have to stress about the shipping process, as it will take care of the entire activity. Further, you can focus on your business growth.
Initially, small businesses can manage their fulfillment process. But, as soon as they grow, it can be challenging to manage the traffic. This will show an adverse impact on the business's scalability. The best carrier will help handle your increased orders in such a case. Even during the season, when the orders are placed at multiple rates, it manages the processes seamlessly. You will notice good scalability of your business.
Customized Packaging Options
The carrier service providers or fulfillment center also pays attention to customization. Customizing packaging will help you choose your preferred custom boxes with the necessary protection and inserts. Your customers will feel excited every time and improve customer experience.
Reduction Of Operating Cost
It is expensive to rent space, check quality control, purchase packing supplies, hire employees, etc., for shipping. Hence, with the help of outsourcing fulfillment, you can eliminate operational costs.
Tips for Reducing Shipping Costs for Your Small Business
Small businesses can reduce their shipping cost without going for cheaper options. Here are the tips to reduce the cost.
Shipping Rate Negotiation
When you ship more, you can save more. Some carriers can expect price negotiation as per your order volume. You must consult various carriers and ask for the required quantities to get lower shipping rates.
Affordable Packaging Materials
Always go for affordable packaging materials. Customizing with bubble wrap, air-fills, etc., will be added to your shipping costs. Therefore, limit your unnecessary customization.
Know Your Shipping Locations
The shipping cost increases when packages travel to multiple shipping zones. Hence, knowing your shipping zones are essential to negotiate rates with carriers.
Shipping Policies That You Should Have In Place For Your Business
Small businesses should be clear and concise about their shipping policy. The policies will inform the customers about the products you ship and their process. It will further protect your business when there is a dispute. Therefore, the shipping policy is one of the significant aspects of small businesses. Below are the things you must focus to state in your shipping policy when looking for the best shipping for small businesses.
Shipping Methods Offered
You should be clear about the shipping methods or types you offer. This will help the customers to know what delivery timeframes they can expect from you. Details of your standard shipping details must have an estimated arrival time.
Shipping Time And Days
Mention your policy about your shipping days and times, including specific cut-off times. For multiple shipping methods, your time and days must match your approach. When you cannot guarantee the shipping time, it is better to avoid making promises.
Related: Everything to Know About the Delivery Time of FedEx, UPS, and USPS
Small businesses should be transparent regarding their shipping cost. And the information should be accurately mentioned in your policy. For example, if you offer free shipping, you must mention the conditions where the free shipping is applicable. For example, details of specific locations or other factors for free shipping.
You should clearly state the shipping locations you are delivering. This will ensure understanding among the customers.
This is the most important thing to mention in your shipping policy. Clearly state what kinds of items are approved under the return policy.
With so many options and factors to consider regarding shipping and transportation, it can be difficult for small businesses to know where to start. But by following the tips in this guide, you'll be well to finding the best shipping solution for your business needs. And if you need a little extra help fulfilling eCommerce orders, Simpl is always here for you. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.
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