Did you know that an estimated 80 percent of international goods are shipped by sea? While shipping your products by a ship on the ocean is an effective way to conduct product logistics, there are other great options available that you should be aware of.
There are also plenty of steps you can take that will help you learn how to ship products in a quick and efficient manner. When running a small business, shipping products on time is important to your success. You also need to be sure to do your research on the best shipping methods for your needs.
The good news is that you’ve come to the right place to learn everything you need to know about shipping products to your customers. Continue reading to learn about the best ways to ship your products.
Know Your Shipping Basics
If you run a small business that is predicated on online shopping, there isn’t much that is more important to your success than knowing the best ways to ship your goods to your customers.
It might be a bit intimidating or overwhelming at first, but it is crucial to your success to determine the best ways to ship your products. Do you want to box your products yourself, or have someone do it for you? Do you want to use generic boxes or custom boxes with your logo on them?
You also need to consider using air freight versus cargo ships and ground shipping services. The shipping fees you’re charged will vary on how quickly you need the product to be delivered and the method you choose to ship it by.
There are certain expenses that you need to be aware of when shipping products to your customers. Some of the common expenses you should expect are the boxes and packaging and the labor involved with sending your products. You should also expect expenses related to the courier costs and any import/export fees if you’re shipping your products internationally.
In order to run your business in an effective way, you need to disclose and advertise how much shipping will cost your customers. It is common for customers to ask store owners and employees about the estimated shipping times as well as the shipping costs.
Reduce the Weight of Your Packages
One factor that is important to remember when you start shipping packages to your customers is that weight is money. The heavier the package is, the more expensive it is to ship.
While the amount of extra money you spend might only be a few cents per item if you’re selling a lot of products those cents will start to add up and be detrimental to your budget.
The good news is that there are ways to make your packages lighter. A popular choice is to use corrugated boxes to ship items. They weigh less than other types of packaging while still providing strength and protection to your products.
You can also use lightweight packing materials. Air pillows and bubble wrap are two common and popular packing materials that small businesses use to ship their products.
If the products that your business sells are heavy, a good approach to take is to check how much flat rate shipping is. The shipping rate will be the same regardless of the value of the package being sent.
Use the Right Size of Packaging
Another great way to ship products to your customers is by ensuring that you use the right-sized packaging. Shipping costs are related to the size and the weight of the package you’re shipping to your customers. If you’re using packaging that is too large you’ll be costing yourself extra money.
It is especially important to consider what the packaging is made of. Cardboard is one of the heavier materials for packaging. It should only be used when absolutely necessary.
You also need to consider which shipping provider you’re planning to use. If you only need ground service, the U.S. Postal Service is a wonderful option to look at. They even provide free packaging in various sizes depending on what you need.
Regardless of if your packaging is custom made for your products or free, it is vital to your business that you have the right size. The best way to determine that is to measure the size of your products.
Use Flat Rate Shipping
One thing that is important to remember when it comes to shipping is that the price of shipping is constantly changing. Those changes are almost never in your favor. For example, in 2021 UPS increased its shipping costs by a whole 5 percent. A good approach to avoid these additional expenses you should consider using flat rate shipping services.
Flat rate shipping works by charging you the same rate no matter the shape, size, or weight of the package you’re sending. This helps your business because it allows you to take fixed costs into consideration. That isn’t possible when shipping rates are not consistent.
Best of all, you determine what the flat rate for shipping is within a shipping zone. This is great for purchases in a certain zone and at a certain price. You can let your customers know ahead of time that shipping costs $6 but if they order more than $75 dollars worth of products the shipping is only $3.
Local Delivery and Pickup
Another great option for shipping products when you’re a small business is utilizing local delivery and pickup. This caters to local customers that want to get your products sooner rather than wait for them to be processed by USPS or UPS.
This trend has only grown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as people are shopping more through local and independent businesses. Local delivery works by having customers purchase your products and then you deliver the products directly to their home.
Another great option that is cost-effective is allowing customers to pick up their purchases right from your store. It saves you money and time and allows your customers to get your products quicker.
Now You Know How to Ship Products to Your Customers
When it comes to running a successful small business, it is vital to know how to ship products to your customers in a quick and cost-effective manner. Utilizing flat-rate shipping is a great way to go about cutting your costs when shipping products and allowing for fixed rates.
You can also use local delivery and even in-store pickup for local customers that don’t want to wait for the time it takes to ship goods.
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