How to save on shipping for small business

Annukka clothing store saves money on shipping with MailPlus Express.


Your shipping strategy is vital to growing your small business and its long-term success.

From charging the shipping costs onto your customers to your own packaging, here we’ll give you our best tips on how to save money on shipping and boost your conversion rates.

Offer free shipping
E.g. Free shipping on all orders over $100.

Offering free shipping will mean that you either will absorb the costs, or slightly increase your product prices to help offset the impact on your profits.

Offering free shipping over a certain amount, like $100, is another option that can incentivise customers to purchase more. This will help you increase your average order value (AOV), which should provide you with a little more profit to help you partially cover the cost of the free shipping.

Charge exact costs
E.g. Using real-time shipping rates, not rounded up.

This can help you earn trust with your customers as it will show that you’re not inflating your shipping fees or raising your product prices to cover the rates.

With MailPlus Express’ competitive prices, you’ll be able to show the exact amount without deterring the customer, while also protecting your bottom line.

Flat-rate shipping
E.g. $10 flat-rate Australia-wide.

Your third option is to offer flat-rate shipping for every shipment. This flat-rate method of charging for shipping requires a bit of preparation as you need to figure out your average cost of shipping packages.

If you’re considering MailPlus Express prices, all our prices are flat-rate so we take all the guesswork out for you. When you have flat-rate prices, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re not undercharging or overcharging customers.

Content Strategist Richard Lazazzera from the leading eCommerce platform Shopify says that you’ll likely need to test these methods before you decide on the one that will work best for your business and resonate with customers.

Consider your choices in packaging

Before deciding how you’re going to pass the cost onto your customers, you need to make final decisions regarding your packaging and your shipping carrier first, as this will determine the shipping price.

Packaging protects your products while in-transit and it’s the first thing your customer sees when it’s delivered to their door. First impressions count, so it’s important you package your product so its prepared for the worst.

Unless you’re shipping very small products, durable products or apparel only, most items will require a box to protect it for safe transport, potentially also cushioning such as bubble wrap. It’s recommended that you keep your packaging as small as possible so it will fit in the most cost-effective satchel.

The unboxing experience

Whether you choose a plain box solution, or a branded unboxing experience is completely up to you, while the latter is considered by Shopify as one of the most under-utilised marketing opportunities for eCommerce merchants. This experience includes branded packaging, tissue paper, padding, stickers, ribbons as well as additional surprise and delight gifts such as testers.

While it’s more expensive to create a branded packaging experience, you can still impress your customers with plain packaging by inserting any or multiple of the below:

• Testers for your products
• Discount codes
• Handwritten thank you notes
• Free gifts that are low margin to your business
• Requests for social tags and reviews

These small gestures will encourage your customers to shop with you again and feel part of your brand’s community.

What your customers wants in a carrier

Lastly, it’s important to understand what your customers want, and need, in your chosen carrier. Globally, more than half of consumers (54%) say that fast delivery is their top or second most important priority.

With Aussie shipping volumes up 80% YOY and 59% of Aussie consumers facing delays, why not choose an express service with proven results while passing the cost back onto the customer?

Need help with your shipping strategy? Enquire now below and we’ll be in contact as soon as possible.

Shipping & Fulfillment 101 by Shopify: A step-by-step guide to getting your product to your customers.
The Financial Review

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