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Why it's important to save money on delivery for small businesses

Home > Blog > Why it's important to save money on delivery for small businesses
Written by Ecoparcel April 14, 2021

E-commerce is arguably the most popular niche for small, online businesses nowadays. People are buying more goods than ever before, which creates a need for a steady supply of various things. 

And what factor can ensure this better than a good delivery service for such businesses? Experts argue that having a good shipping strategy and customer experience that’s fast, reliable and safe are the main contributors towards customers developing loyalty for a brand.

Considering that there’s plenty of competition out there, in our opinion, every online shop should aim for developing such a network.

However, as with all things, price can play a big part in determining whether a customer chooses your shop or buys from one of your competitors. Many are hesitant to spend a bit more and are expecting a business to offer free shipping as standard.

We understand that for a small business, it can be quite tricky keeping customers satisfied by lowering shipping costs as much as possible. 

This is exactly why we’ve prepared this article - a few useful tips to cut your spend on delivery and thus, forming a more attractive image for your online brand.

Know your shipping requirements

Arguably the first thing you need to do is carefully analyze your shipping needs. Some businesses operate entirely in one country, while others aim bigger, with offers of European or even global delivery options for their clients. 

All of these business strategies will have different requirements in terms of shipping. When considering partnering up with a courier firm, pay attention to their offers and prices. 

Naturally, you’ll want to find an option that won’t strain you financially too much, yet will get the job done in terms of delivery time.

In terms of your parcels themselves, an area you might want to consider cutting costs is the weight and packaging itself. There are plenty of options for lightweight materials and tips for packaging everything in a better way, but will get to that a bit later.

The bottom line is - know exactly what you need as it will give you a clearer picture on what to demand from your courier company.

The inevitable need for a „Free shipping“ option

Free shipping has become a normalized expectation from customers in the world of ecommerce. Giants like Ebay or Amazon have the resources to cover such expenditures, however for a small business it can be quite tricky.

That is, unless you have a well-defined plan for your needs and can find a workaround. 

Smaller companies often settle for the alternative of including the shipping costs within the cost of the product. While this does make goods slightly more expensive, it will allow you to state that you do offer free shipping.

However, if an increase in prices hampers your competitiveness and is out of the question, you might consider other options to allow free shipping as well.

Here’s what you can implement:

  • Free shipping for orders over a certain threshold sum
  • Free shipping for ordering a specific amount of items
  • Free domestic shipments
  • Free shipping coupons for next time buys

And so on.

You have to be smart in terms of spending your resources in order to stay competitive and develop a loyal customer base.

Shed unnecessary weight and find the right materials

Volumetric weight as it is known in the courier world is what determines the cost of a shipment. This factor takes the dimensions, size as well the weight into consideration.

If you want to cut costs in this regard, you have to make sure that your packaging methods are as efficient as possible.

Smaller items for example, can be packed in a tighter packaging, without wasting valuable space. Plus it will mean that you’ll use less material for the package itself, which will decrease expenditures even more.

As you grow, the amount of items you ship out on a regular basis will also grow, which will increase the need to properly manage such expenses even more.

Some companies have found that reusing either filling materials or the boxes themselves can cut even more costs in this area, so you might want to consider that as well.

Of course, don’t overdo it. Saving money by sacrificing the quality of the package too much will not only increase the risk of a person receiving a damaged item, but could even hurt your brand identity as people will migrate to other businesses which can offer a reliable delivery.

Consider multiple courier offers

Finding the best overall option in terms of who will carry out your delivery takes time, and you shouldn’t go for the first company that pops up in your Google search results.

There are multiple websites out there which gather quote options from different firms, thus allowing you to evaluate what works best for you in terms of shipping rates. 

Even if you have a reliable company already that you work with for a while now, you do have the right to demand better rates. Otherwise, just move on to somewhere else, if a courier firm is unable or unwilling to adapt to your needs.

All in all

We’ve given a few tips on how to save money in terms of delivery for your products. As a small business, you have to remain smart in order to use the resources that you have efficiently and stay competitive.

This way, you’ll find what works for you best in the long run.