When it comes to running a business, setting up a shipping system is one of those boring topics that most entrepreneurs prefer to avoid. However, if you are serious about operating your company the right way, it is a part of the daily process that simply can’t be ignored.
Here are a few tips that will help you to get going in setting up a functional shipping system…
Performing Proper Research
One of the first things that you should consider before venturing out to set up your shipping plan is to do some research. The easiest way to do this is to start off online and check out web sites that are shipping items on a regular basis. If you can find companies that are shipping pieces that are close to your inventory that would be ideal. If not, you can still review their overall operation and make note of what’s working great and what’s not.
If the company has any type of reviews, that is a good way to learn if customers were happy with the shipping or not. In many cases, customers will tell you if they didn’t like the packaging, if items were not wrapped properly when delivered, or if the shipping simply took too long. It’s important that you note these issues and make adjustments so that your company can avoid them.
If you start with big online retailers like Wal-Mart, Amazon, and others, you can quickly easily gather information about their shipping process that will help you to make decisions around planning your own. You might also check out any number of web sites like www.ShipGooder.com that will help you to effectively compare shipping rates.
Simplify the Process
One of the things that many businesses attempt to do in regards to shipping is to simplify the process. The easier you make it for customers to order and ship their products, the more income you will generate.
Even though it may seem logical to give your customers every option in the book when it comes to shipping, this can sometimes work against you and actually hurt your business. You need to evaluate the best options for your buyers and offer the primary choices to get started. If you determine later that customers are requesting methods that you don’t currently provide, then you can reevaluate and add them later if feasible.
Take a look at how many options you want to provide and which ones will work best for your customers. Standard, overnight, multiple locations are just a few of the options that you may offer your customers. Ultimately, you have to take a look at what works best to get your product there quickly, cheaply, and intact.
The primary step in determining which options to use is to figure out how much it will cost your company to ship specific items. Once you do the basic numbers and figure that out, only then can you choose your options and fairly pass on that cost to your buying customers.
Why Shipping Weight Matters
Recent surveys have shown that excessive shipping costs have routinely caused buyers to cancel their orders. Based on that information, it’s critical that you pinpoint low cost methods to ship and that generally revolves around the weight of merchandise going out.
When it comes to figuring out shipping costs, one tool that can be extremely helpful is the dimensional weight calculator. These calculators help to determine how much space a package will occupy inside of a truck or plane, and since this can directly impact how much each shipment will cost your company, it’s important that you know the “DIM Weight” and how it works.
In simple terms, DIM Weight is based on how big a package is versus how much it actually weighs. Most shippers will charge the higher rate between the DIM and the actual scale rate of the package being sent therefore it’s important that you know both.
Regardless of what kind of shipping program you decide to use, the costs passed on to your customers can be a key factor when it comes to how much profit you generate per year. More than 50% of businesses base their shipping rates on the value of the merchandise when it is often more practical and cost effective to charge based on weight.