Ecommerce Shipping: How to do it Profitably?
Thanks to the growth of the internet, eCommerce businesses are more successful than ever. In 2019 alone, 1.92 million people purchased services or goods online. In the same year, e-commerce sales surpassed $3.5 trillion worldwide.
While there’s no doubt that running an eCommerce business can be lucrative, shipping costs can make it difficult for your business’s profit margins to grow.
Luckily, there are ways you can make your eCommerce shipping more profitable. Read on to learn how to improve your eCommerce shipping strategies to increase your profit margins.
Related: The Global eCommerce Revolution
Choose the Right Shipping Carrier
To make your eCommerce shipping more profitable, the first thing you need to focus on is choosing the right shipping carrier. Here are some things to keep in mind when exploring shipping carrier options:
To choose the right eCommerce shipping carrier, you need to consider your products’ size and weight.
Shipping carriers usually have size and weight restrictions. Any product that falls outside of these restrictions may be subject to additional fees. Check with your shipping carrier to make sure your products are within their accepted dimensions.
Also, keep in mind that some shipping carriers have restrictions on the types of products they ship. For example, some shipping companies won’t transport food, beverages, or perfumes.
Don’t be fooled by shipping carriers that offer suspiciously low rates. Often, the cheapest shipping carriers don’t factor in the price of shipping supplies.
The price of envelopes, boxes, and labels can quickly add up, so don’t discount the cost of materials when calculating shipping expenses.
Choosing an unreliable carrier could end up being very costly for your eCommerce business. If a shipping carrier is losing packages and not delivering them on time, you’re going to have some unsatisfied customers on your hands.
These unsatisfied customers may leave reviews on your eCommerce website that harm your sales, and they may tell other people not to order from you.
This is why it’s important to look into a shipping carrier’s reputation before deciding to do business with them. Read online reviews and testimonials, and conduct a background check on each shipping carrier you’re considering.
Another critical factor you need to consider is the location of the shipping company. While local companies may offer discounted services and cheaper rates, they may not be able to ship your products internationally.
If you want to ship products internationally, you’ll need to combine the services of both a national US standard shipping carrier and an international carrier.
Are you wondering how to deal with the pain points of international shipping? Click here to learn how to make the process smoother with Parcll Delivery!
Trim Down Package Weight
Trimming down the weight of your packages can also help make your ecommerce shipping more profitable. First, you should invest in a postage scale to better estimate your shipping costs.
Here are some things you can do to trim down the weight of your packages:
- Use bags instead of boxes wherever possible
- Ship your items in smaller boxes
- Change or remove inserts
- Switch to a lighter packaging tape
- Use the lightest box that will still protect your product
- Minimize your product packaging
These small changes can shave ounces of weight off of each order. And while that may not seem like much, if you’re shipping a lot of packages, this can add up to thousands and thousands of dollars in savings in the long run.
Print Your Shipping Labels at Home
Printing your own shipping labels is another excellent way to save some money. While shipping label printers are convenient, you can just as easily print shipping labels from your at-home printer.
All you need to do is create an online postage account with a web-based mailing and shipping service. Once you’ve created an online account, you’ll need to enter the destination address and weight of your package.
Then, the website will automatically calculate the postage rate based on this information. They’ll then create a shipping label that you can print from home and mail with your package.
Build Shipping Costs Into Product Price
Most customers prefer to shop from websites that offer free shipping. A recent study found that 88 percent of consumers are more likely to shop from a website that promises free shipping.
Use this information to your benefit. Instead of offering your products at a lower price and tacking on additional shipping charges, work shipping costs into the price of your product.
However, make sure you’re not driving up the price too high, as this can cause consumers to do business with other brands. Research your competitors to see how they handle shipping costs.
If none of your competitors offer free shipping, make sure you work free shipping into your slogans and advertisements. For example, you could write something like, “We ship to you for less than the competition.”
Outsource to a Fulfillment Partner
In-house fulfillment management can be complicated, and it can be very difficult to scale up or down based on demand.
If you have some hot-ticket items, consider outsourcing them to a fulfillment partner for faster, reliable, and more affordable delivery. A fulfillment center is a third-party warehouse that stores your products until they’re ready to ship.
Of course, it costs money to store your product at a fulfillment center, so you only want to do this for products that are in very high demand and need to be shipped out quickly and continuously.
Reuse Packaging Materials
Packaging materials don’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. As a business owner, you’re constantly receiving packages of your own.
Why not reuse some of these items when shipping products to your customers? You can easily reuse packing peanuts, bubble wrap, crinkle paper, tissue, and cardboard boxes as long as they’re in good condition.
There are also various places where you can find discounts on packaging materials when you’re out of items to reuse. For example, you can find cardboard boxes from sites like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUP, or LetGo. You can also contact local furniture stores, department stores, and electronic stores for cardboard boxes and other packaging materials that would otherwise be recycled.
Consolidate Your Shipping
Consolidating your shipping is another great way to help your eCommerce business save money. Instead of shipping out smaller boxes individually, you can combine them into one big package to save money.
Consolidating is also a great way to offer customers discounts on volume sales. Plus, consolidating your shipping is a great way to position yourself as an environmentally-friendly brand.
Looking to save even more money on shipping? Check out these hacks for saving on shipping costs!
Are You Ready to Save Big on Ecommerce Shipping?
Now that you know how to make your eCommerce shipping more profitable, it’s time to get started. The next time you ship products from your eCommerce site, remember to put these tips to use.
With these eCommerce shipping tips, you’ll see your profit margins grow in no time at all.
- By Vanessa Tran
- Jan 23, 2021
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