Eco-friendly Shipping Solutions for your Business
In the 19th century, merchants, farmers and independent craftsmen sprung up to provide valuable services to their immediate community. Today, small business isn’t limited by location. PayPal Canada recently published a study confirming that the pandemic has forced 67% of small businesses to accept online payment, with 47% of this shift occurring as a direct result of the pandemic. With all this legitimate pressure to provide e-commerce solutions to customers, what elements should a small business consider when choosing a shipping supplier?
The most important question small business owners, with a toe in the e-commerce waters, should ask themselves is, how to ship a package. Most consumers have experienced the joy of returning an Amazon order or sending a care package to distant family, but how confident are you in your shipping solution, if your small business depends on the reliability of the shipping company? Let’s explore a few elements you will certainly want to consider when choosing the shipping solution for your small business.
Why does Small Business need a Shipping Solution?
Outsourcing this vital element of e-commerce business to a third-party shipping company might seem scary, but the right shipping supplier will streamline your entire process from orders to delivery, keep all the information at your fingertips, and ultimately save you money and stress. Many small businesses are choosing to go with shipping companies outside the massive, institutionalized shipping sources we see every day, as they offer resources such as USPS Shipping Calculator, and more personalized, faster and less unpredictable service and delivery.
Rates & Weights
Rates from large shipping companies can be unpredictable and shockingly expensive. Rates from smaller third-party shipping suppliers are lower, and customer service, far superior. If you deal in smaller products, you may want a shipping company with flat rates. If your products are larger, first confirm any shipping company weight limitations, then consider a company that can offer you discounts based on product weight and shipping volume.
Speed & Reliability
Working with a shipping company that provides reliable and predictable shipping and delivery speed will earn you loyal customers who enjoy knowing when, and if, their package will arrive. If you choose a company with excellent tracking services, your customers will stay engaged from purchase to delivery, and will be yours to lose!
Karin Visnick, head of North America for USForex thinks, “Going global is no longer an option for successful small- and medium-sized businesses – it’s a strategic imperative.” If your business is growing, or you are already operating in the international market, consider choosing a company with clear and transparent pricing policies, an excellent reliability track record, and fast, verifiable international shipping records. Research any international taxes, documentation or permits, customs, tariffs and the legality of your product in the country you hope to work in.
Working with a company who provides easy-to-use shipping software is critical to the success off your small business. Some shipping software offers you better rates for using their app, and lets you calculate potential rates for upcoming projects. Excellent shipping software provides easy importing of orders automatically, managing and organizing them, printing labels, and tracking packages, for both the small business and customers.
Green Shipping Solutions
If environmentalism is important to your small business, you will want to consider a “green” shipping provider. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a strategy to reduce emissions from ships, but there are things your small business can do from home! Use biodegradable or recycled containers when shipping and packing, to reduce waste. Or offer a “green” shipping option to customers, allowing them to choose to consolidate orders into a single box or use slower shipping methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and vehicles. Finally, using shipping software reduces reliance on paper products for both your business and the shipping company, and digitizes your shipping and tracking process.
Shipping is a delicate balancing act between budgeting and speed, for all small businesses. Using the wrong shipping supplier results in high cost and unsatisfied customers, both debilitating issues. Carefully consider your shipping solutions to ensure you have the fastest and most reliable service at the most reasonable cost – and also take a moment to consider how your shipping provider can simplify your organization and tracking tasks. Finding the best shipping solution for small business may seem overwhelming, but defining your goals and non-negotiables before you begin your search will streamline your e-commerce efforts and make your small business a force to be reckoned with.