There’s something most businesses have in common, regardless of size and location: they have to ship their products from their shop to their customers. Unless you’re lucky enough to offer a digital product downloadable from the internet, you’ll have to deal with the burden that is shipment.
Many business owners regard shipping as a necessary evil. But while it’s true that it’s necessary, it doesn’t have to be evil. In fact, you can save a lot of time and money if you deal with shipments the right way.
Find The Perfect Shipping Company
If your customer ordered your product online, the shipment is your only physical connection. This means that your shipping company has a big part in the success of your business, since they’re the people delivering your goods, and thus represent your business to your customer.
There are various shipping companies offering their services to small businesses. UPS, FedEx, Purolator, and the US Postal Service are just a few examples on a long list of providers.
Your shipping company has a big part in the success of your business, since they’re the people delivering your goods, and thus represent your business to your customer
Research your options and make a shortlist of candidates. Contact them all and find out more about them. Ask them about personalized services, pickup and delivery times, tracking options, and paperwork.
Let them walk you through a hypothetical order. Is the process convenient? Are you willing to repeat it whenever you get an order from a customer?
Don’t hesitate to ask for a personalized rate. Depending on the amount of business you’d bring them, they may offer you reduced rates.
What to Charge
Since nobody’s aware of the actual shipping costs, many companies are tempted to make a little extra money by inflating the shipping fees they bill to their customers.
Don’t do it. High shipping costs can deter many customers, especially if they weren’t part of the original agreement. In fact, one of the major reasons behind digital shopping cart abandonment is an unreasonably high shipment charge appearing right before checkout.
Free shipping, on the other hand, is only free to your customers, you still have to pay your service provider.
If you charge your customers the exact amount you pay to your shipping provider, then nobody has to pay more than what’s absolutely necessary.
Generally, it’s best to choose a middle ground. If you charge your customers the exact amount you pay to your shipping provider, then nobody has to pay more than what’s absolutely necessary.
However, since free shipment is a great incentive, you may try offering it now and then. Run a free shipping promotion for a limited time, or offer it to your best customers. Either way, free shipment helps seal a deal and increase customer loyalty.
Another associated charge is handling and packaging (unless it’s included in your shipping agreement). Usually, businesses tend to cover these, or slap it to the shipment charges and call them “shipping fees.” This is because with each additional cost that lands on their invoice, customers tend to become less understanding.
What happens if your customer isn’t happy with their purchase? Most businesses offer a returns policy as an incentive, so it may be best for you to follow the example. But who covers the charges of extra shipments?
Customers prefer free returns. If you can, it’s never a bad idea to go with that. But what if you’re unable to afford it?
In this case, your best bet is to aim for a middle ground solution. Cover shipping fees of faulty products, but if the customer just changed their mind, they can foot the bill of the shipment.
How do you pay your shipping provider? The question is especially important if you work with a global shipper, since international wire transfers can be costly, unsafe, and tiresome.
Luckily, there’s a better way to pay all your shipping fees quickly, efficiently, and at a lower cost.
Veem allows you to send and receive international transfers with just a click. You can stay in charge of the process at all times, since Veem provides real time tracking. You’ll know exactly when your payment arrives.
And on top of that, Veem offers competitive foreign exchange rates and charges no wire fees.
Sign up for a free Veem account and enjoy effortless international transfers.