This post was contributed by Maria Fagerland, Senior Copywriter at our partner, ShipStation.
Finding economical ways to ship is important for eCommerce merchants. Whether you are shipping domestically or internationally, it’s rare that one postage provider is able to offer you all of the services you need. Luckily, our friends at ShipStation have put together a guide dedicated to sharing the best tips and tricks for lowering shipping costs.
1. Advantages of a Multi-Carrier Strategy
As your shipping volume increases, you can start to negotiate lower shipping rates. However, one way to leverage more affordable shipping rates with a certain carrier is to divert a small portion of your shipping volume to other carriers. The rule of thumb is to ship 80% of your volume with your preferred carrier and 20% with other carriers. Diversifying how you ship can be used as leverage with your carrier’s account manager.
2. Use a third-party shipping software
The more you keep your shipping within a carrier’s shipping portal, the more control a carrier feels like they have on you. However, if you ship through standalone shipping platforms, carriers further realize that you’re not exclusive to them. A carrier may then offer negotiated rates to increase your shipping volume with them. Luckily, shipping software can give you discounts simply by signing up for their service. You also have more freedom to manage all your carriers and ship more efficiently through shipping software. If they offer in-depth reporting features, you can use this information on all of your carriers to help negotiate better rates with a carrier directly.
3. Procure the Cheapest Shipping Materials
You don’t need to have the most expensive packaging in order to get products to your customers effectively and safely, but make sure you are cutting costs, not corners. The last thing you want to do is end up spending more money sending the same order if the first one got damaged in transit the first time around.
4. Grow Your Business with the Shipping Savings
Providing your customers with a variety of shipping options and passing shipping savings onto your customers is a great way to increase loyalty and satisfaction. You never want a customer to abandon their shopping cart at the last minute due to shipping. Consumers are sensitive to shipping costs, so offering free shipping or requiring a minimum purchase to receive free shipping can give you an extra edge.
There is no one size fits all solution for finding the cheapest way to ship, but you can use these tips to help build a fulfillment plan that suits your business the best. Check out this eBook to find even more tips to drive your fulfillment costs down.