Keeping shipping costs low is about more than just improving your bottom line. If you run an online store, shipping costs play a big role in whether or not a consumer will ultimately decide to make a purchase. And even if you don’t ship products to customers,
or if you offer them free shipping, there is no good reason not to seek to pay less in shipping fees if you can achieve this without compromising the quality of the service you receive.
And there are indeed several approaches that can be used to reduce shipping costs without sacrificing quality. Here are some of them.
1 - Price shopping
Whether you are using FedEx in the US or
TNT Road Express in Australia, the best way to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible on your shipping services is to constantly compare prices between different providers. And while getting quotes from various shipping service providers used to
be a slow process twenty years ago, these days there are entire websites dedicated to helping consumers and businesses compare shipping prices.
2 - Negotiate your rates
If you move a large volume of packages with the same courier every month, you might be able to get a better deal just by calling their sales team. They might be willing to drop their prices, offer promotions, or even match an offer you have found with a
different provider. Asking for a price match allows you to get the best deal possible without going through the hassle of switching providers.
Talking to the sales team of your service provider can also help you figure out ways to save money without changing your deal. Their sales team might have tips on how to package and deliver your goods in a way that prevents issues and eliminates the need
for certain fees.
3 - Pay in advance
Some courier service providers allow customers to pay in advance for certain services. And when this option is available, it is often associated with a discount that can be as high as 20%. Pre-paying for courier services might not make much sense for the
average customer, but it might fit well with your business model. Paying in advance may also ensure your packages will jump ahead of the queue whenever there is a situation where the courier service is overloaded.
4 - Move your goods
One of the easiest ways to drastically reduce how much you spend on your shipping is to change where your goods are located. For most small and medium businesses, this means renting a warehouse in a strategic location, and either outsourcing order-fulfillment
duties or relocating to oversee this part of the process in person.
Either way, make sure you are checking warehouse prices from time to time. If your business is growing at a healthy rate, eventually you’ll move enough merchandise that having a warehouse is more cost-effective.
5 - Stop selling
Sometimes bulky items add so much to shipping costs that you are better off not selling them. Especially if said item is also hard to package and prone to breaking in transit. Remember: the value of your employee’s time also factors into the total shipping
cost, so anything that slows them down might be losing you money in the long run.