For many eCommerce businesses, shipping and handling can be a significant expense. In fact, it can be challenging to manage and optimize shipping costs while still providing the best experience for your customers. However, with the right strategies, you can minimize your shipping and handling costs while ensuring customer satisfaction. In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective shipping strategies for BigCommerce stores.
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Use Tiered Shipping Rates
One of the most common strategies eCommerce businesses use is tiered shipping rates. This method is ideal for businesses selling products with various sizes and weights. It involves creating multiple shipping tiers with different shipping costs based on the weight or the value of the order.
For example, you can offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount and charge a flat rate for orders below that amount. You can also set up different shipping rates based on the destination, such as offering free shipping for orders within the United States and charging for international shipping.
Using tiered shipping rates can help you balance the shipping and handling costs with the revenue generated from each order, ensuring that you don’t lose money on shipping.
Optimize Your Packaging
The packaging you use can greatly affect your shipping and handling costs. The larger and heavier the packaging, the more expensive it will be to ship. Therefore, it’s essential to optimize your packaging to reduce your shipping costs.
One strategy is to use smaller packaging wherever possible. You can use custom packaging to match your products’ size and shape, which can help minimize the amount of dead space in the package. Additionally, you can use lightweight materials to lower the weight of the package.
Not only will optimized packaging lead to lower shipping costs, but it can also improve your customer’s experience by providing a more eco-friendly and compact package.
Leverage Carrier Negotiation
BigCommerce shipping comes with many carrier options, including USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL. Each carrier has its strengths and weaknesses, such as shipping times, transit options, and shipping rates. However, you can leverage carrier negotiation to reduce your shipping costs.
Businesses that ship a large volume of orders can negotiate better rates with carriers. This can involve signing a contract with the carrier, which often includes guaranteed volume discounts. Furthermore, carriers can offer additional services that can benefit your business, such as tracking, delivery confirmation, and insurance.
To maximize your carrier negotiation, you must understand your shipping volume and needs, as well as compare each carrier’s rates to determine the best fit for your business.
Offer In-Store Pickup
Another effective strategy for managing shipping costs is offering in-store pickup. This option allows customers to purchase items online and pick them up in person, eliminating the need for shipping fees. This is a great option for customers who live near your physical store and are willing to travel to pick up their orders.
In-store pickup also reduces the risk of shipping damaged or lost items, minimizing your need for insurance and returns management.
Implement Real-Time Carrier Rates
BigCommerce shipping also offers real-time carrier rates, which allow you to calculate the exact shipping cost based on the weight, size, and destination of the order. This information is provided by the carrier in real-time, providing the customer with accurate and up-to-date shipping costs.
Offering real-time carrier rates can give your customers transparency on the shipping costs and help you avoid overcharging or undercharging your customers for shipping. Additionally, it can help you compete with other eCommerce businesses that offer similar products.
In conclusion, managing shipping and handling costs can be challenging for eCommerce businesses. However, implementing the strategies outlined above can help you minimize your expenses while still providing excellent customer service. By using tiered shipping rates, optimizing your packaging, leveraging carrier negotiation, offering in-store pickup, and implementing real-time carrier rates, you can ensure that your business stays competitive while maximizing profits.