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eCommerce Shipping for Small Businesses

As a small business, you’re doing everything you can to maximize your bottom line.

From bringing your own lunches to work to adding products to your website yourself, you’re trying hard to do it all — but eCommerce shipping can be a nightmare scenario if you’re not prepared.

In the last few years, customer expectations and new technical requirements have raised the bar high for small businesses, but there are still plenty of ways to ensure that your eCommerce order management is smooth as silk.

Keep Up with the Changes in Shipping

Since UPS and FedEx went to a dimensional pricing model, calculating shipping has become much more complex. Under this new model, you’ll do yourself a favor by choosing boxes that are very close in size to whatever you’re shipping, since the cost to ship with these companies is determined by package volume as well as weight. Shipping policies are going through some rapid changes, mostly focused at fitting more packages into a smaller space due to driver shortages across the country, so you should keep an eye to the web for new rules.

eCommerce businesses are expected to be hugely influential in the growth of the logistics sector in the coming years, which means more packages are going to have to fit into the same spaces — somehow. Paying careful attention to the changes in package shipping costs and shipping methods will help you stay ahead of your shipping budget, especially if you’re still fulfilling your orders yourself.

Research Your Carrier Options

There are plenty of advertisements for FedEx and UPS, but they’re not the only shipping options for a small business. Depending on how far away your customer base lives, you may be able to take advantage of local shipping by partnering with Shopify and using UberRUSH or you may find you’ll save a bundle shipping across the country by using the USPS. More likely than not, you’ll need to use a combination of shippers to get the best deal on shipping.

Hire a 3rd Party Logistics Company

If you only have a few packages to ship out each week, it’s probably not worth the investment to outsource your order fulfillment, but as your company grows it’s going to become a difficult job to pick, pack and ship your own orders. This is where a 3PL can come in and save you a bundle.

Even though you’re paying someone else to do your shipping, the deals these companies have worked out with various shippers and the speed at which they can complete orders may end up making you more money in the end.

When customers are happy because they received their shipments far ahead of schedule and were able to track them from the moment they were processed to the moment they were delivered, they’ll tell their friends about their great experience. Happy customers spells more customers, there’s no doubt of it.

Small business owners have a lot of decisions to make every day, including how to manage order fulfillment. Whether you’re going your eCommerce shipping alone or you decide to bring in a 3PL to handle the heavy lifting, it’s important that your company is able to meet the expectations of your customers, near and far.

December 08, 2015
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