Small e-commerce businesses need to know how to best manage their shipping costs in order to remain competitive and profitable. Shipping expenses are often overlooked by small businesses, as they tend to focus on finding the right products and services for their customers instead of the cost associated with getting those products and services to them. The cost of shipping goods can be a major expense for any business, but there are ways that you can save money.
Flat-rate shipping is a cost-effective and reliable shipping method for eCommerce businesses in Canada. Using flat-rate shipping, merchants can assign a fixed cost to ship packages of any single size regardless of the weight or destination. Unlike other types of shipping, there is no need to pay for extra documentation such as customs forms or taxes and the cost does not increase depending on the size or weight of the items being shipped. As an added bonus, some eCommerce platforms will also offer discounted rates on certain destinations via flat-rate shipping.
The biggest benefit is its predictability – merchants know exactly what they’re paying each time they ship out a package. This makes it easy to plan budgets accurately and ensure that customers don’t receive unexpected charges at checkout. It also allows merchants to provide customers with accurate estimated delivery times so that they can plan their purchases accordingly.
Factors to Consider
For small eCommerce businesses, shipping costs can make up a large portion of overhead expenses. When choosing a method for your business, there are several factors to consider which can determine the cheapest option.
The first factor is the size and weight of the items – choosing an appropriate-sized box or envelope can often mean savings on postal costs. Additionally, the type of delivery service you choose has an effect on cost – reaching customers quickly or with guaranteed delivery will generally be more costly than standard postal services.
Another consideration is where items are being shipped to – domestic service options may be cheaper than international shipping, and services offering discounted bulk shipments may also result in lower overall costs.
Comparing prices between carriers is recommended; many carriers offer different discounts or incentives depending on your needs, so taking the time to explore different options can help you identify what works best for your business.
Ground shipping is cost-effective and reliable. Ground services provide delivery to most places in Canada in two to ten business days and are often less expensive than air or express services. They also offer online tracking information so you’ll know where your parcel is at any given time.
Express delivery services offer faster delivery times than ground shipping, but they come at a higher cost. Depending on location, express service times range from overnight up to five business days, making them ideal for time-sensitive shipments that don’t require next-day delivery. Express shipments often include online tracking and insurance against lost or damaged packages as well as greater visibility throughout the delivery process.
Air shipping provides reliable same-day or next-day delivery of large parcels across Canada and around the world due to its speed and efficiency. Air cargo rates tend to be more expensive than ground rates but this is offset by increased package size limits, improved transport control systems, expert packaging guidelines, and more comprehensive insurance coverage against loss or damage in transit. Air shipments also include detailed tracking information so you can easily keep track of packages during transit throughout their journey from origin to destination points within Canada or Internationally
Tracking and Delivery Options
With the increasing demand for online purchases, many customers want to easily track and manage their shipments. As a result, it is important for companies to offer a variety of tracking and delivery options based on customer needs.
Courier companies which specialize in shipping within Canada, as well as international locations, are a great option. They provide efficient service but pricing for these services varies depending on destination location and transit time needed for delivery. You should check out FlagShip to find out more about the services they offer.
Canada Post: Customers can expect a reliable service from Canada Post when sending items within the country. They are able to purchase insurance for more valuable packages, set signature requirements upon delivery, and track their shipments with ease.
Purolator: Purolator specializes in business-to-business shipping. They offer faster delivery times and several service level options including standard ground, express shipping and express 24 services which guarantee next-day delivery within the province of origin.
UPS: UPS offers service levels that range from everyday deliveries to time-sensitive deliveries with rich tracking capabilities and package alert notifications throughout the entire shipment process. They also offer flexible delivery options that provide customers with multiple scheduled delivery attempts as well as Saturday deliveries at no additional cost.
How to Optimize Costs
For small eCommerce businesses, it can be challenging to manage shipping costs due to limited buying power. Fortunately, there are techniques that can help you optimize your shipping spending.
The following methods can help keep your shipping costs to a minimum:
-Negotiating with carriers: Negotiating better rates with carriers can help you save on shipping costs and provide the leverage needed to offer the most competitive prices on products.
-Weighing items accurately: Appropriately weighing items is essential when determining the correct package size and corresponding shipping rates.
-Using regional carriers: Regional carriers may offer low rates for shorter distances; consider using them for small, local shipments rather than larger national carriers.
-Ensuring package durability: Deciding which type of packaging or material will best protect the item can be an important step in reducing return shipments due to product damage or breakage on its way to customers.
-Offering various delivery options: Providing customers with various delivery options empowers them to choose the most convenient option for their needs, which also means they are more likely to stick with your business and make additional purchases in the future.
After considering the various shipping methods available, it is clear that the cheapest option for a small eCommerce business is to use flat-rate shipping. This allows customers to receive their items quickly by using a standard courier service, while at the same time providing savings on shipping costs. The up-front cost of using a flat rate service is lower than choosing an individual carrier and others may even offer discounts or other deals.
Additionally, flat rate services often provide tracking information and peace of mind that helps to create a more positive customer experience. While there are other options available, Flat Rate Shipping remains the most cost-effective choice for small businesses.