Besides the price, shipping fees affect most people’s purchase decisions more than anything else. With the growth of e-commerce in recent years, the demand for shipping has grown exponentially, and so has people’s expectations.
Amazon didn’t know when they started offering free one-day delivery to their Prime members how double-edged that weapon would be. Sure, it gave them an advantage over their competitors. However, it raised the shipping expectations of every other e-commerce customer across the planet, even those buying from other online platforms. It’s a whole new world out there, where 79% of consumers prefer free shipping to price discounts.
Where does that leave you, a simple entrepreneur not earning billions in revenue? The answer is quite simple: lower your shipping costs or offer free shipping. Here are five strategies that you can use to cut down on shipping costs for e-commerce. So, open your international shipping rate calculator, and let’s get to work!
Integrate Shipping with Your E-commerce Platform
Before the advent of the internet, we all had to wait in line at the post office to send packages anywhere. If you think about it, that process is very inefficient. Imagine needing to go outside whenever you get an order. Plus, the e-commerce shipping cost would vary depending on where you’re shipping to and the size of the package.
That process has been made easier with logistics companies offering e-commerce platform integration. Every order your customers make will automatically be received by the shipping company and be taken care of, hassle-free.
Another advantage e-commerce integration gives is saving time. Gone were the days when you needed to devote a lot of time and resources to handle shipping and handling. Many logistics companies now offer full account management, plus lower rates and up-to-date delivery reports.
Apply for Flat-Rate Shipping
Your products will most likely come in different shapes and sizes. It might be possible to use similar-sized boxes, but there will come a time when you’d need different packaging for different products. This situation makes it difficult for you to plan or create a budget for shipping.
Talk to your logistics partner, and see if you qualify for flat-rate shipping. This means that there’s a weight limit for each package and as long as you’re under that limit, you pay just one rate and can ship to any state. This will reduce the shipping costs for e-commerce a great deal.
This method will save you lots of time in planning and analyzing your expenditures. If your shipping partner gives you a low rate, you can pass that on to your customers by offering discounts, flat-rate shipping, or even free shipping.
Reuse Packaging from Orders You Receive
The cost of packaging materials might be easy to ignore, but it can stack up to a considerable amount if you’re not careful. Boxes from orders you receive can be reused for outbound orders. This is why it’s vital to save packaging as much as possible. Do this, and you’ll be saving Mother Nature, too, by minimizing your use of materials.
Another way you can be more efficient in your use of materials is by maximizing the space used. If one customer ordered multiple items and they can be fit in one box, by all means, do so. That would also save you money for extra labels.
Get Your Shipping Partner to Give You a Deal on Labels
When starting your e-commerce business, there’s a desire to procure as many gadgets as possible to help you, business-wise. Thus, you’ll get the urge to buy a shipping label printer so you can label outgoing packages yourself.
That might save you money in the long-run if you’re selling hundreds of items every month, but very impractical for businesses that don’t have that high a sales volume. Talk to your logistics partner and get them to include labels in your e-commerce platform integration, besides shipping and receiving services. They might even give you a good deal for that inclusion. That’s one more thing off your mind, so you can concentrate on growing your business.
Include the Shipping Cost in Your Prices
Do you remember the strategy of asking your shipping partner to offer you a flat-rate for shipping? If they agree, you can now take advantage of flat-rate shipping by including the price of shipping in your products’ prices and offering free shipping to your customers.
There’s something about seeing FREE SHIPPING that makes buyers excited about a product. It makes them feel valued.
Don’t forget about your competitors, though. If you raise your price too much just to accommodate the shipping cost, buyers might look somewhere else. Including the shipping cost in your price should be done with these things in mind:
- Keep a competitive price.
- Make sure you have a healthy profit margin.
- Find out how your competitors are handling delivery.
- Do some research on how much customers expect to pay and are willing to pay.
Slash Those Costs
Running an e-commerce business isn’t all about which shipping service is the cheapest. Sometimes, you have to think about the things the right logistics partner can give you that are hard to put a price on.
What matters is a good business relationship that allows you to cut down on shipping costs for e-commerce and increase your profit margin.
For questions about e-commerce integration, you can contact Stallion Express. We offer very affordable rates for e-commerce businesses all across Canada.