Management is a make-or-break process for any merchant, but it is especially crucial for small businesses. As someone who’s just starting out, many factors will leave you feeling overwhelmed.
With difficulties in services brought about by the pandemic, shipping becomes especially challenging for many businesses. However hard, shipping is also vital—especially for customers stuck at home. The situation prompts businesses to make sure they manage their shipping services well.
As a small business owner, the key is to learn. Know about the essential factors that you have to consider, and build a strategy that will work under these conditions. For locations like Canada, shipping costs are one of the biggest concerns. Here's a helpful guide to help you get started with efficient small business shipping in Canada.
An Overview of Shipping Rates and Expectations in Canada
Shipping is Naturally Pricey
As an amateur merchant, this question might come across your mind: "Why does it have to be expensive here?" There are a couple of answers that best explain why shipping services in Canada can be expensive.
- Canada is a large country, but the population does not correspond to its size.
- The distance between the city and the country is extensive, leaving small towns and villages disadvantaged. It costs more for couriers to ship to those areas, so additional fees are implemented.
- There is possible fluctuation in fuel prices, and couriers have you shoulder a part of the costs.
- There are regular costs such as insurance, taxes, service fees, and more.
- All these costs can vary greatly between courier companies.
Customer Expectations of Canadian Consumers
Here are highlights of significant data collected from various reports. This showcases the increasing demands and expectations of Canadian consumers.
- 53.2% of customers expect a free shipping option
- 25.5% are willing to pay up to $10 for shipping
- 68% are concerned about the shipment's environmental impact
- 80% of those shopping outside of Canada check if there are extra charges on product or shipping costs
- 45% consider a choice of delivery options as an essential factor in online shopping
Factors to Consider and Tips to Avoid Damaging Your Profits
As much as possible, it is crucial to know your exact shipping costs. It beats the anxiety to know the exact digits and it will be the root of your strategy in avoiding profit damage. That being said, you should begin with the essential factors to work on before creating your shipping strategy.
Package Size and Weight
Package dimensions are what shipping companies use to determine rates. Have your dimensions ready and look for a company that ships that package size.
Tip #1: Organize your inventory based on size and weight. Uniformity is a must when it comes to your package dimensions.
Tip #2: Find a shipping provider that delivers your package size at the lowest rates.
Tip #3: Practice secure and solid packaging to avoid additional costs.
Tip #4: You should know what specific documents you will need when your packages are shipped.
Location significantly contributes to and determines shipping prices in Canada.
Tip #1: Continuously research customer location data and Amazon FBA as a fulfillment warehouse near your US customers.
Tip #2: If you're planning to expand globally, work with well-established shipping companies.
Finding the Right Courier
Find a reliable shipping courier to work with for your small business.
Tip #1: Ask the right questions. Find out if they cover your shipping destination, their cost structure, the cost policies, logistics, and customer services.
Tip #2: Use shipping solutions to help manage your eCommerce platform. They're reliable when it comes to getting you reasonable shipping rates and discounts.
Building Your Shipping Strategy
There are several ways for small businesses to grow their profit margins while avoiding the trouble of too much cost. Here are some of the best tips for small businesses.
Tip #1: Use Third-Party Insurance: A shipping protection like Stallion Protection, is usually half the price of what other carriers charge, so this is a good starting point if you're a small business.
Tip #2: Look Into Free Shipping: 88% of customers are more likely to purchase when they see free shipping. There are also chances of them buying more than what they intended simply because of the free shipping offer. If you're a small business, you could offer free shipping with a minimum order—this will help with your margins.
Tip #3: Go with Carriers: Although carriers are not as fast as courier companies, carriers are suitable for a large volume of shipments. They also vary in rates and services, so choose those that meet your business needs.
Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Automation: Automated features in your shipping procedure help maximize efficiency. An example is shipping software that provides precise and real-time rates during a customer's checkout.
Tip #5: Give Back to Earth: Reduce, reuse, and recycle! You can reuse shipping materials and encourage your customers to do the same. An earth-friendly brand catches customers' hearts and contributes significantly to your business’s savings.
As a business owner, you should aim for a shipping service that helps you save costs and satisfy your customers at the same time. While both seem like opposite sides of the coin, with enough research, one can indeed work well with the other. Learn as much as you can, get started with your worry-free shipping, and give your customers a wonderful experience with Stallion Express! Get the ultimate shipping experience with the most reliable and affordable shipping partner in Canada! With a few clicks in your Stallion account, you can ship products across Canada, to the US, or even internationally.
Feel free to check out the perks that await you!