Shipping is essential to any business. It can be one of the most challenging parts of business, especially small businesses and entrepreneurs. You’ve made some online sales, now you have to get your customer their products safely, quickly and without spending a fortune on postage and supplies. Here are some shipping basics every small business should consider when it comes to shipping products to customers.
Pick a shipping carrier
Before you start shipping products out to customers, be sure you have the best carrier for your company's specific needs. Do some research and make sure you’re comparing prices on weight and size of packages as well as delivery time frame. All of these can make or break customer loyalty if they can get the same product at the same price from another company that can get it to them quicker.
Negotiate shipping charges with your carrier to get the best price you can. Even if you’re a small business, there is still plenty of room for negotiation. Lower shipping charges means happier and more loyal customers.
Develop a solid shipping policy
Once you’ve got your shipping carrier in place and you’ve negotiated a great price, now it’s time to develop a solid shipping policy that will not only help the company, but is also good for your customers. Again, keep in mind that charging too much in shipping can turn customers away. Breaking even on shipping can be the best way to keep loyal and returning customers.
Customers love free shipping so if it’s possible, consider offering it. If the products you offer have a high profit margin, than free shipping is a great way to attract more customers.
Offer free shipping as part of a promotion can be a great call to action for customers. It can give them a sense of urgency to order as soon as possible so they don’t miss out on free shipping deals.
Once you’ve decided on how much to charge customers for shipping, have a section of the shipping policy pertain to returns and exchanges. Expert say that in most cases, companies should eat the shipping expenses when customers want to exchange or return products. It’s good for loyalty and trust and can be a small price to pay in order to keep customers returning again and again.
Picking the right shipping supplies
Now that you have everything in place with your shipping carrier, cost and policy, it’s important to pick the right shipping supplies. You want inexpensive supplies but you also want to make sure that your customers products are delivered safely. If the products are light weight like paper, choose cardboard mailing tubes and boxes. For heavier products like fishing poles and golf clubs, choose heavy duty triangle shipping tubes and boxes that won’t damage your products. For more information on the different types of shipping supplies, check out Picking the right shipping materials and supplies.
Ready to ship products to your customers? Erdie has a wide selection of mailing and heavy duty shipping tubes to fit the needs of your business. We also offer custom tube design to help brand your company. Whatever shipping supplies you need for your business, Erdie has it, including fulfillment services for your big orders.