When it comes to shipping business owners may feel like they’re handing their company over to some unknown entity. When shipping is the make-or-break factor for the business this might cause them quite a bit of anxiety. Well, with proper planning it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are nine small business shipping solutions that any business owner should consider following to keep shipping under their control.
1. Offer Free Shipping
Offering free shipping is the best thing available to get rid of shopping cart abandonment. Sadly, nothing in life is ever free someone will have to pay something. Here are a couple of ways a company can swing this.
They can increase the product price to compensate for shipping. This means the customer pays. They can pay the full price for the shipping out of their own margins so they pay. They can increase the prices of products slightly to cover partial costs of shipping. This will cause them and the customer to pay. Lastly, they can offer discount codes to certain customers for free shipping.
2. Charge Real-Time Carrier Rates
Another strategy they can go with is charging real-time carrier rates for shipping. Platforms fuse real-time with different carriers like USPS and Canada Post to generate shipping options.
What this boils down to is that customers will be able to choose and pay for the service that they want. This is a good way to reel in customer loyalty.
3. Charge a Flat Rate
Charging a flat rate is probably the least popular of the shipping options. The issue with this option is that business owners will have to really make sure they aren’t overcharging or undercharging their customers.
It works best with a standard product line that has similar sizes and weights. This option gets a little complicated and if the company sells a variety of products it becomes even more so.
4. Establish Loyalty/Member Programs
Time to go back to free shipping. It was mentioned above that a company can offer certain members codes for free shipping well, the way to do this is through membership programs.
Small businesses sometimes offer member programs for a small annual fee. It’s free reign to offer perks like free shipping. The annual fee can help offset the charge for it.
5. Choose Special Times of the Year
Another way to gather customer loyalty is by offering free shipping at special times of the year. Like during the holidays for example.
This allows smaller businesses to also gain a head over the big players during the months of November and December when the demand for online orders is at its peak.
Depending on the service offered by a company can also gain a lot of revenue by offering free shipping during the smaller holidays like Mother’s Day and Valentines Day.
6. Limit Free Shipping
Some small businesses limit their free shipping to places within the United States. Another option here is to allow customers to have their items shipped to a physical store.
If the customer ships their item to a store they will do one of two things, pick up their package and leave or pick up their package and browse a little since they are already there. This means the customer just might make additional purchases while at the store.
7. Set Small Thresholds
If free shipping is a little difficult for a company to offer the next best thing is to set small thresholds. This means that they will offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount.
Not only is this more manageable but setting a minimum free shipping amount encourages larger cart orders. Another thing that can be done is putting free shipping on certain items.
If there are specific items that a company knows they have higher margins on they can tie free shipping to them.
8. Table Rate Shipping
It feels a little unreasonable to ask a customer who only lives a few blocks away to pay the same amount of shipping as one that lives halfway around the world right?
In fact, a customer that is located nearby will expect a large variety of affordable options. This includes the in-person pickup mentioned above.
If a company ships out their products everywhere and anywhere they will need something to set rates by location as well as height and weight. A table rate extension will give that kind of power and flexibility. Here are a few things to consider when looking at table rate shipping.
- The company has a large and or growing store that ships to a lot of different locations
- They want to offer different rates to different areas
- They need the flexibility of setting different rates and methods by postal code, state, region, or country.
9. Ship to Multiple Addresses and Allow the Orders to be Split at Checkout
During the holidays it’s not uncommon for a customer to want to ship parts of their order to different destinations. They want the freedom to at least send their loved ones gifts if they can’t actually see them.
They will appreciate being able to send out one order and have parts of it sent to other addresses rather than creating a bunch of smaller orders. Offering this will keep them from turning to a competitor.
Small Business Shipping Solutions for the Company
Something like shipping can mean the difference between a customer completing an order, or exiting out of their web browser completely. The world of online shopping is a competitive one, especially during the holidays. Consider these small business shipping solutions to keep business booming.
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