How to Reduce Shipping Costs for Small Businesses
As retailers, service providers, and entrepreneurs gear up for the holiday rush, shipping costs can become harder to manage, especially if you're a small business. At Plus Packaging, we know that although there are ways to save on shipping costs, it all starts with the proper packaging!
5 Ways to Reduce Shipping Costs
When approaching the shipping part of your business, it's not as simple as finding low-cost shipping options. To truly minimize shipping costs, there are a few crucial elements that should be kept in mind:
1. Know Your Products
The more precise weight and dimensional information you have, the more accurate the estimates will be when you are doing online research about how much it costs to ship things. Also factor in any special packaging requirements you may have - for example, if you need bubble wrap or a box for more structure. This way, you won't be surprised when it comes time to ship them. Plus, if your products are generally the same size each time, you could benefit from prepaid packing options.
2. Know the Best Way to Pack
Just like packing luggage, there are ways to optimize space when packaging. Where practicable for your products, use light and airy wrapping and packing material. Be familiar with how to calculate dimensional weight, as well as mailers vs. boxes. If you are shipping items that don't require the sturdiness of a box, consider using mailing bags, which are lighter and tend to have more favorable cubic measurements. With boxes, you are at the mercy of the dimensional shipping weight categories of the carrier you end up choosing - one inch too wide and you may be looking at a pricier shipping level.
3. Get Your Packaging in Bulk
Buying packaging in bulk is kind of the branding equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. It's the opportunity to create and use further branding without throwing off your bottom line. Not only can you incorporate brand logos, designs, and colors to offer customers a more delightful package opening experience, but you'd be saving money doing it. You will likely save even more by purchasing from an online packaging business, such as Plus Packaging, as operating overhead tends to be lower.
4. Get to Know Your Carriers
Most major carriers, such as FedEx and UPS, have representatives all over the country. Meet with them and do some comparison shopping. See what they can offer you in terms of services for different packages, destinations, and volumes. Give them specific dimension and weight information. Don't be afraid to negotiate shipping rates. Apart from the major carriers, also look into regional carriers, especially if your business doesn't yet have a national reach. Some carriers have cheaper rates for packages over a certain weight; others are better for lighter items. You may consider having one carrier for certain things and another for others.
5. Let Your Customers Absorb Some of the Cost
In an ideal world, we could offer free shipping to anyone. In reality, we need to be able to manage shipping costs as best as we can. It's true that consumers tend to be put off by what they consider unreasonable shipping costs, and they may not know that your hands are tied because you don't control how much it costs to ship things. Taking into account the actual shipping costs based on the exact dimensions and weight of your products, you may benefit from raising the price of your products a little bit and subtracting these amounts from what you will charge your customers for the shipping. This way, shipping charges will still look reasonable to customers.
With over 40 years in the packaging business, Plus Packaging has set itself apart as a leader in the packaging industry, providing eco-friendly options, free artwork consultation, and a personal approach to customer service. Contact Plus Packaging and find out what affordable shipping supplies you can use to make your brand stand out and to save on shipping costs.