Today’s eCommerce small businesses are shipping more packages than ever before. And they need an expert shipping solution for small businesses. Unfortunately, many small retailers consider shipping a necessary evil rather than an opportunity to provide better service to customers—which can make their customers unhappy since shipping is often slow, overpriced, or unreliable. To stand out in the overcrowded market of online shopping carts, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to shipping. Instead, use these expert shipping tips for small businesses from shipping companies to improve shipping.
7 Tips For Shipping For Small Businesses
It would help if you had the right tools to streamline your shipping workflow to ship small business items—especially during the holiday season. It is also significant for an eCommerce store owner to understand shipping regulations that apply to their respective state or region to properly prepare themselves for fulfilling orders correctly and avoid fines or other penalties. Here are expert product shipping tips that you can rely on.
1. Automate Shipping Documentation
When shipping small business items, try to automate as much of your shipping workflow as possible. You can use a case sealing machine to automatically seal shipping boxes by inserting the shipping label face-up into the machine, where it will make a pick and place motion to drop your shipping label on top of the box. Then the device will close the lid, heat seal it shut all in one motion, then pick up and cut off any shipping labels hanging over the edge.
Also, use shipping software to print out shipping labels with complete shipping information, including the type of shipping services used, weight, descriptions, and other details that will be needed by carriers you’re shipping products for.
2. Offer Shipping Discounts for Buying More Than One Product
Offering shipping discounts can encourage your customers to buy more than one product, and shipping multiple items together will have a lower shipping cost per item. It’s also good for the environment because it will ship faster, which means less gas consumption. Shipping discounts are also beneficial to the customer because they save money on shipping.
You can provide shipping discounts on all of your eCommerce product pages by simply adding a shipping calculator showing how much it costs to ship each item individually and then offering free shipping on orders greater than this total cost. That way, shipping is still free if they purchase four or five products but not both—which keeps them from trying to game the system. This is one of the best small business shipping tips that will help you to increase revenue from your eCommerce website.
3. Group Products Into Batches Based on the Shipping Destination
Shipping items in the same batch make the shipping faster and allows you to use shipping services that offer volume discounts. A great way to manage your shipping workflow is by grouping products into batches of small business items headed in the same direction. So you can ship them using service providers who offer better rates or trade agreements, which could be any shipping company, shipping depot, or shipping dock that you’re shipping small business items to.
You can save money on shipping when shipping small business items with a shipping company like FedEx, DHL, or UPS by shipping multiple products within the same shipping box using a shipping scale to determine how much each item weighs.
Once you know how much your shipping box weighs, add up all the weight of the products that will be shipped in that box and then compare this total weight against what is allowed per package type (i.e., standard vs. oversize) and shipping class (standard, economy, two-day). This will enable you to choose which carrier will provide the best rates for your order and find out exactly how many shipping services you will receive a shipping discount for. With this small business shipping tip, you will save costs.
4. Check Shipping Regulation Requirements in Your Area
In addition to offering shipping discounts, you should also familiarize yourself with shipping regulations that may apply to your industry and location. This will help avoid penalties for mishandling goods while shipping your product to customers. In the U.S., for example, you must mark all hazardous material packages with labels identifying them as such before shipping, so they don’t catch fire or explode in transit and cause injuries.
You’ll also need to know what type of equipment safety standards are required. For example, especially electronic devices and other electrical components must comply with government regulations in your country and safely secure items during shipping so they won’t shift and cause breakage or damage to contents while in transit.
You should also be aware of shipping restrictions that might apply for shipping internationally and what shipping documentation you need, such as shipping waybills, commercial invoices, and packing lists.
5. Pay Attention to Shipping Regulations
When shipping small business products, it’s essential to pay attention to shipping regulations on hazardous material shipments, so you don’t have problems with delivery or potentially face fines or other penalties for mishandling goods. Shipping waybills are one type of document required by some carriers if shipping hazardous materials, which contain more detailed information about the contents of your shipment and how they’re packaged compared to commercial invoices. Also, they need to be included in these shipments that provide essential information, including contact details for both shipper and receiver, terms of sale, origin city/country of origin, weight, shipping date, and shipping service used.
6. Use Unique Shipping Materials
It’s essential to use shipping materials that meet shipping requirements, including the size and weight of the shipping box or envelope you’ll be using. You should also make sure these shipping materials are made from material that will not harm your small business items (e.g., suitcases, bags, etc.) while they’re being shipped around the world.
Most small business products must be enclosed in shipping containers like packing crates, shipping bags, envelopes, shipping boxes, cardboard shipping boxes with padding to prevent breakage or damage during delivery. These shipping containers should also have access holes for passing through straps or belts used to secure shipped merchandise so it won’t shift or fall out while being transferred between modes of transport during shipment.
7. Use Shipping Labels That Include Shipping Content Information
Shipping labels are often created with shipping software programs that allow you to determine shipping costs and update your company’s shipping and billing address. To reduce shipping errors and potential shipping problems, you should print shipping labels that include all the shipping content information like:
- Shipper’s name and complete shipping address
- Recipient’s name and complete shipping address
- Shipping service used from those available from your carrier(s) of choice for each shipping label for shipping.
- Total shipping weight of each shipping label for shipping.
- ID numbers which may include external shipment
- Order shipping date according to shipping service used.
- Shipping label ID or barcode number if your shipping software program allows printing shipping labels with pre-printed shipping barcodes.
Shipping products to customers is an integral part of small business management. Customers always expect their product orders to be shipped quickly, so shipping discounts can help you save money. Be aware of shipping regulations in your area. Use shipping materials that meet shipping requirements, including the size and weight of the shipping container. Finally, calculate domestic and international shipping rates to find the best deal for your order before processing it through your point-of-sale system or shopping cart.