Unexpected increases in fulfillment and shipping charges undoubtedly put shippers in a profit margin squeeze, especially when you have more and more consumers expecting free shipping on their orders. Our partner V-Technologies published the following article sharing a few strategies small businesses can take to avoid extra shipping charges.
1. Re-evaluate Your Shipping Carrier Mix with a Rate Analysis
As of January 17, all three major carriers (FedEx, UPS and USPS) have raised their shipping rates. Considering that all online retailers are affected, it’s critical to re-evaluate your shipping mix and rates to ensure the most cost-effective solution. Keep in mind that FedEx and UPS rate changes include increases in fuel and residential surcharges.
2. Don’t Forget about Dimensional (DIM) Weight Pricing
In 2015, both FedEx and UPS implemented dimensional weight pricing to all Ground shipments. There is no minimum volume threshold, which means many businesses using these carriers have seen a substantial hike in shipping costs, especially for large, lightweight packages.
Keep in mind dimensional weight pricing will still play a part in shipping costs this year, coupled with FedEx and UPS updated shipping rates.
3. Offer a Better Returns Process
The majority of online shoppers today expect an easy and free package returns experience, which can result in high costs for retailers. Endicia’s Pay-on-Use Returns™ labels make it simple and cost-effective for both the customer and seller. With Pay-on-Use labels, postage is only deducted from your Endicia account if and when the return label is scanned into the mail stream, as opposed to using pre-paid labels.
4. Explore Other Packaging Options
Effective product packing and packaging can make or break your shipping costs, as well as your customer service. While you may think you’re saving by using cheaper boxes, it could ultimately cost more in the long run if items arrive in broken or poor condition.
For more shipping tips, check out this pre-recorded webinar to learn more on how to save on shipping. The webinar was recorded around the holiday season, but these tips stand true for small businesses looking to save on shipping any time of the year.
V-Technologies, LLC’s ShipGear program reduces double entry and invoicing errors by providing a connection between Endicia’s U.S. Postal Service software and accounting/ERP systems, such as QuickBooks, Sage 50, Sage 100, Macola, Microsoft Dynamics GP, eBay and Amazon. ShipGear bridges the gap between shipping and the front office to automate the shipping process and improve customer service. ShipGear, available since 2001, has helped thousands of customers efficiently ship their product.
The ShipGear and StarShip solutions both integrate with Endicia for U.S. Postal Service shipping. If you are interested in learning more about these solutions connect with V-Technologies: www.vtechnologies.com or 800-462-4016.