In the current age of eCommerce, high-quality shipping services are a must for small businesses. Consumers expect their online orders to be shipped fast and free; failing to meet that expectation can end up costing you.
That’s why it’s important to follow the right small business shipping tips, so you can be ahead of the curve and keep your clientele happy. This guide is here to help.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Know Your Shipping Zones
When you send a package from one place to another, it travels across one or more shipping zones. This is a geographic area defined by a carrier that includes a set grouping of zip codes.
Knowing these shipping zones is crucial when you’re negotiating shipping rates with carriers. You’ll also want to know them so you can consider how you’ll market your services and products. If you’re targeting local customers, this can help you save on shipping costs in the long run.
2. Packaging Is Crucial
Product packaging not only helps you protect goods but also allows you to advertise your brand. Your number one consideration should be providing good protection. Then you can focus on the design.
As far as shipping goes, the size and weight of your products directly affect your choice of packaging. You can ship light and small items in an envelope, while large products require boxes. Certain couriers offer flat rates depending on the type of packaging used.
3. Know Your Carriers
It’s important to know what the best shipping carriers are for small businesses. Not every carrier is created equally, so be sure to check out each of their websites to find the right one for you.
You have USPS, which has the free Priority Mail Starter Kit when setting up a PO box. There are also programs for fulfilling orders in-house.
FedEx Small Business is designed for startups and offers a variety of benefits, including a Packaging Help Hub and rewards program.
UPS also offers various resources. They have a Small Business Program that allows you to manage customer returns and pickups.
You can also use a digital freight broker as well.
4. Tracking Is a Must
One way to build trust with your clientele is through honest tracking practices. As a small business, you’ll want to have a clearly outlined shipping policy to share with your clientele. The tracking protocol should be featured in your policy.
5. Don’t Forget Insurance
Similar to tracking, your business’s stance on insurance should be laid out in the same shipping policy. It should address what happens to the products if they’re damaged or lost in transit. Customers are able to purchase insurance through third-party vendors or couriers at checkout if they’re concerned about something going wrong in transit.
6. Know How to Manage Returns
Outside of shipping services, you’ll need to know how to manage returns. Returns are a big part of retail, and making this a simple process will save you a lot of money.
There are various options for managing returns. You can include a return label in every package, or you can send a return address label. The goal is to make it easy so you can maintain a positive relationship with your customer.
Small Business Shipping Tips
Shipping products quickly and for free is crucial to gaining and keeping customers. Yes, it can bite into your profits, but with the right tips, you’ll be able to work efficiently and save on shipping.
Determine your best options and spend some time applying these small business shipping tips for the best results.
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