For any commercial business one of the main things which you will want to think about doing is sorting out your shipping method. When you start a small business, shipping may not be the first thing which comes to mind, however, after a few months, you won’t be able to handle simply packaging every item yourself to send off through the post.
Logistics and shipping can make up a very large part of your business, and therefore you need to understand as much as you can about local and interstate transport services for your business. Today we are going to take a look at the basics of shipping and teach you about what to do when shipping your items to your customers.
Rates and methods
When you start looking into the shipping products for your business you will need to take a look at the prices of your items, the shipping prices and the methods you will use for shipping. For example if you are a company who sells small items you can get away with using regular postal methods to deliver your items, however, if you are selling larger products you may need to use a large truck or van for the job. Your rates will likely depend on the type of item you want to ship as well as the weight of the item.
The heavier your item is, the more it will cost to sell to your customers. This will, of course, determine the cost of your shipping to your customers because the weight will increase the price of shipping by a hefty amount. This is why you will often see very expensive shipping on items like kitchens or furniture.
Type of packaging
You can usually order free packaging from large shipping firms if you decide to use them for all of your product shipping. If not, you will want to decide whether to use plastic bags or boxes to ship your items. This will, of course, depend on the size and the type of product you are selling.
Offer free shipping
If you want to get in your customer’s good side and make them want to continue buying from you, you can offer free shipping to any order over a certain price. This is a strategy which companies like Amazon use successfully all the time, and it stops you from abandoning your shopping basket halfway through an order. If you ordered $15 worth of items and you needed $20 to get free shipping, you are likely to carry on shopping to see if you can find an extra item.
Charge a fixed rate
Most companies use the method of charging one fixed shipping rate no matter what the cost or weight, and a lot of the time this works out as a great method for you to use. For example, if you are a homeware retailer and you charge the same money whether someone buys a kettle or a fridge, it can make a big difference to your customer and they will be more likely to stay shopping with you in the future.
You will notice that these days many companies put their efforts into creating attractive packaging for their products. This can be anything from a cute logo to slapping your brand name all over the surface. From a marketing point of view, this can work out brilliantly because it not only makes the brand known to you and your family but also the postal workers and delivery drivers who come to bring you your items. It makes the brand more recognisable and ensures that they stay in your mind for longer.
Types of packaging
One of the decisions you will want to make when shipping your items is the type of packaging you’ll use to keep the items safe and sounds during transit. The most popular type of packaging to use is a box, however, this is not the only type of packaging you can use for your products. Many companies opt to use small bags lines with bubble wrap for their products. And this usually allows parcels to be delivered through the mailbox instead of worrying about missing your package and running to the depot to pick it up.
Keep it light
As you will know, the cost of packaging your items and shipping them off is based on the weight of the parcel. If you already have a large item to package, you will want to reduce your packaging costs as much as possible to stop you from having to pay extra. Try to cut down on fancy packaging and any extras which will make the parcel heavier than it needs to be. Remember to protect the parcel in transit, but other than that you can stay pretty lightweight to reduce your costs.
If you are selling high ticket items and ones with a lot of value you may want to add a tracking service to your shipping policy to allow you to track your parcel and let the customer track it too. This will give you the peace of mind to know that it is well looked after, and it will allow the customer to have an estimate on what day and time their parcel may arrive.
Shipping is a huge part of your business and forms the beating heart of your strategy. It is crucial that you make sure you plan for the most efficient, cheap and quick shipping method you can for not only your business but for your customer too. A good shipping time and cost can make a big difference in your customer base and if they think it is better to go with you, they will. Take the time to research every type of packaging, every type of shipping and every company you can to ensure that you can provide the best possible service to your loyal customers. If you can provide a good service your customers will always come back to you.