Updated: Sep 13
They browsed your site.
They placed an order.
And now it’s time to ship it!
But...how does that happen, exactly? And what can you do to make sure you’re picking the best shipping for small business?
With the age of Amazon and the expectation of fast delivery, consumers want their orders quickly. Pair this with high expectations for product presentation and the experience it delivers, te way you handle small business shipping can make or break your business.
In this blog, we’ll help you figure out the best shipping services for small businesses, including the pros and cons of using multiple carriers, tips for reducing shipping costs, and a detailed breakdown of the top carriers for small businesses.
How to Determine the Best Small Business Shipping Solutions for Your Brand
To pinpoint your ideal small business shipping solutions, you first need to figure out a few things...
Order Volume: How many packages will you send out on your pick-up/drop-off days?
Delivery Time: What's the delivery window you're aiming for? Three business days? Five?
Frequency of pick-up/drop-off: Daily shipments or three times a week?
Packaging Material: Packaging costs can stack up. Do you need luxury packaging?
Dimensions and Weight: Know the dimensions and weight of your boxes.
Tracking: Do you want to offer tracking with every shipment?
Destination: Are you shipping internationally or just within your country?
Insurance: Consider if shipping insurance is worth the investment for your business.
Once these factors are nailed down, you can explore the best service or services to handle your small business shipping needs.
The Benefits of Using Multiple Shipping Carriers
In a day and age where convenience is everything, using multiple shipping carriers may actually save you time and money.
While having one carrier often simplifies the shipping process, multi-carrier shipping brings some key advantages. For example, one company may have a 2-day delivery, while another offers a pick-up day your original carrier doesn’t have. When determining the best shipping for your small business, there are many factors to consider.
Here are three reasons why using multiple shipping carriers could help your small business:
You Benefit From Different Carrier Features
Regarding small business shipping solutions, no two carriers are the same. Each one comes with its own perks, catering to aiverse range of needs and preferences. By offering a range of shipping services for small businesses, you can handpick the best options for every unique order, ensuring the quickest delivery times and the most positive customer experiences. This way, you effectively leverage the best shipping for small businesses to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
You Have a Built-in Fail-Safe
Remember in 2018 when almost 11,000 UPS workers almost went on strike during the holiday season? Imagine if your only shipping provider was UPS.
By diversifying your shipping options for small businesses, you not only sidestep such major disruptions but also ensure a seamless delivery process even during unforeseen setbacks. This strategy works as a safety net, avoiding the difference between a Christmas celebration and a New Year's gift opening and maintaining the joy and satisfaction of your customers.
You Improve Customer Experience by Offering Multiple Options
Despite high demands, only a fraction of US customers — a mere 15% — feel that the current shipping options for small businesses meet their delivery expectations.
Expanding your small business shipping solutions offers flexibility that has become a standard expectation in the contemporary market. It allows customers to choose a service that suits their budget and time requirements, putting them in the driver's seat and enhancing their overall shopping experience with your brand.
Additionally, embracing various small business shipping services empowers you to offer competitive pricing, adding another layer to customer satisfaction and retention. It's a strategy that meets expectations and often exceeds them, setting a high bar in the competitive small business landscape.
This approach does not just enhance customer satisfaction; it builds trust and a reliable reputation for your business, encouraging repeat purchases and fostering a loyal customer base who knows that your company offers the best shipping for small businesses. It's a simple yet effective way to elevate your business in the eyes of your clientele, promising them not only quality products but also superior service facilitated through diverse small business shipping solutions.
Tips for Reducing Small Business Shipping Costs
Finding the most affordable small business shipping solutions is critical to saving on costs and generating earnings. After all, the hand-written thank you cards, extra goodies, and eye-catching branding can only get you so far.
Here are a few tips to help you reduce your small business shipping costs:
Use the Appropriate Box Size: Instead of using one or two standard sizes, keep costs low by choosing appropriately sized boxes.
Reuse Boxes and Packaging Materials: Your shipping container doesn’t have to have your brand logo; using a recycled box is wonderful! Especially if you are starting out, using boxes you already have or donated can save you hundreds of dollars in your first few months or years.
Buy in Bulk: Buying bulk can save you tons of money on packaging, labels, business cards, and more.
Purchase Pre-paid Shipping Labels: Prepaid shipping can get you up to 20% off shipping costs from UPS and FedEx simply by purchasing a certain number of shipping labels upfront.
Use Poly-mailers: If you sell small items or clothing, consider using poly mailers instead of boxes. They take up less room on a delivery truck and require fewer packing supplies like tape and bubble wrap.
Negotiate Your Rates: Although you’ll need a bigger volume for this last one, you can negotiate directly with shipping carriers for small businesses for discounts, including accessorial fees.
Best Small Business Shipping Options
Not all of these companies may be best for you and what products you are shipping, and that’s ok! It’s best to do your own research when choosing a shipping carrier for your small business shipping solutions.
However, we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the most popular shipping services and why they’d be best for you and your business:
Best for Small Packages: Sendle or USPS
Best for Large Packages: UPS or USPS
Best for International Shipping: DHL
Best for eCommerce Business: Sendle or ShipBob
Best for Quick Shipping: FedEx (large) or Sendle (small)
Best Affordable Option: EasyPost
Best Negotiated Rates: USPS
Best for New Businesses: USPS + Shippo (combined)
Best Overall: Sendle or USPS
There are many factors to consider when shopping for the perfect small business shipping solutions. What may work for one company may not work for you, and that's fine!
Sometimes, mixing and matching your shipping carries works best for you based on your volume, your timeframes, or your packaging. Regardless, ensuring you research what companies offer is essential for saving time, money, and your sanity!
Zoek always offers small businesses information and tips to help make their lives easier. Visit any of our social media sites to stay updated on how you can help your small business run smoother.