Shipping is one of the most expensive expenses for any e-commerce company, from a microbusiness to a large warehouse operation, and the cost of eCommerce shipping is rising, so if you’re like most other online business owners, you’ll be looking for ways to provide the best value to your customers without sacrificing profits. If you don’t want to shoulder those additional costs yourself as shipping rates rise, you’ll need to think outside the box.
Here are 11 ways to save money on eCommerce shipping this holiday season.
1. Examine Your Shipping Costs
Shipping costs are the second-highest operational expense for online retailers. The first step in lowering your shipment costs is to keep track of the details. Begin by tracking and processing each shipment invoice. Sort them into three groups based on their delivery costs: average, high, and below-average.
Examine the costs thoroughly and relate them to the order volume, package weight, and consignment destination. In other words, treat each expenditure as a distinct cost unit. You lack the time and resources to go through a large number of shipping bills. Instead, simply upload your shipping data to a cloud-based shipping intelligence platform, and total cost analysis can be generated in a matter of minutes.
2. Add Up Product And Shipping Expenses
Adding the cost of delivery to the price of the item may not appear to save you money, but it can. They will believe you are offering a better deal if you include the expected cost of shipping in the price of the item.
It not only makes sense to your customers, but it also keeps your prices consistent and accounts for shipping. If you overestimate the costs and offer everyone a flat rate, everyone will unintentionally pay the highest shipping rate possible, regardless of the true cost. In other words, you are now making more money than you were previously, and any future increases in shipping fees will not reduce your sales revenues. Consider this strategy to be a safety net for your business. If shipping costs continue to rise, you can protect your profits and avoid overcharging your customers.
3. Manage Your Shipping Expenses on One Platform
To reduce the possibility of errors on your part, incorporate software into your website that automatically populates shipping labels based on the information provided by the buyer. Even though such software is expensive, it can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
In addition to shipping labels, you can automate communication with staff members who pack orders and inventory control to ensure you never run out of stock. Without automation, which is an excellent tool for optimizing business operations, you can only go so far.
4. Use Automation To Simplify The Process
When manually packing orders and filling out mailing labels, mistakes are unavoidable. If you label a package incorrectly, it may be delivered to the wrong location or even returned to you. While you frequently have to pay shipping costs to have the order delivered in circles, your buyer would have to wait while you resolved the problem.
You should probably leave some things to the computers because humans aren’t perfect. When running a business, automation is a huge help, especially if your eCommerce site has grown to the point where you need to hire additional staff to handle the influx of orders. Because time is money, process automation can reduce errors and give you more time to do other things.
5. Avoid paying too much for your shipping invoices
There are numerous potential errors on any given shipment invoice. These errors range from weight discrepancies and unclaimed service failures to incorrect surcharge applications and incorrect address correction charges.
If you are not auditing your invoices for inaccuracies, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to save money. Furthermore, the majority of internet businesses require automatic invoice audit software, which scans your invoices and detects any discrepancies. Companies that have implemented this strategy have significantly reduced their shipping costs. Spreadsheets must be abandoned in favor of automation.
6. Link your checkout and logistics
Create links between orders and alerts sent to the warehouse or any other location involved in the shipping preparation process to accomplish this, so that your employees can plan efficient work routes and prioritize picking and packing based on the shipping option selected at checkout.
Because not all customers prefer express delivery, a well-optimized checkout process is more important than it appears. If the fees are lower, some people may choose slower deliveries or a specific date and time to accommodate their schedules. The importance of integrating checkout and logistics is highlighted by the impact of each of these preferences on order preparation.
7. Automated sorting and packaging
Picking and packing lists are written materials that provide your employees with the instructions they need to gather and package the goods. In order to improve the efficiency of the preparation cycle, the time required for picking and packing is reduced by combining both jobs in this information.
Picking and packing lists, like labels and other shipping documents, can be created manually or automatically. Manually performing these tasks has a negative impact on the organization’s efficiency because it slows reaction times and makes them more susceptible to error.
8. Automate your returns
Returns are one of the most difficult issues that eCommerce faces on a daily basis. They must be carried out with the help of a successful reverse logistics system and necessitate an ideal strategic design. This is a critical point because returns can quickly increase logistic costs, resulting in significantly lower profit margins.
Your return policy should reflect your customers’ purchasing habits. Most of the time, this means free, flexible, and simple returns, which complicates the process even more because you are responsible for all associated charges. This is why using a customized gateway to automate returns is the only way to reduce costs while also improving customer satisfaction.
9. Make Use of Pick-Up Points
How do pick-up points work? Consider running an online store that only ships to certain customers. Isn’t it pointless to ship ordered items to specific addresses?
With a nearby location, you can quickly organize shipping and delivery so that your customers can easily pick up the items they purchased. You can save money on both packaging and eCommerce shipping by sending multiple items in one shipment.
10. Consider Prepaid Shipping
Prepaid shipment denotes that the cost of sending the goods has already been covered in the realm of freight. As a service, many postal providers provide automated, nonrefundable prepaid shipments.
Furthermore, if you use prepaid shipping services or labels, you may be able to save money. You won’t have to pay for postage on each package this way.
11. Use The Appropriate Size Packaging
If you’re packing a box to send to a customer, you’ll usually fill any empty space with some sort of filler to keep the contents from shifting. Even though it has additional benefits such as protecting the goods from damage, it is also expensive.
If a larger box weighs the same as a smaller one, shipping will be more expensive. Order multiple sizes of unique, branded boxes from a provider to have options for a variety of orders.
When running an eCommerce business, shipping and handling are unavoidable logistics costs. Having the right eCommerce place allows you to cut shipping costs and, as a result, grow your business.