3 Shipping Mistakes That Are Costing Your Business Money
When you’re focused on selling product, how you’re going to get it to your customers can often be an afterthought. However, allowing shipping methods to take a back seat could be costing your company a lot of money and losing it customers. Online shoppers have grown to expect free or cheap shipping, and if you’re making common shipping mistakes it can be hard to keep the cost down.
Here are three mistakes your business may be making that is causing its shipping practices to be both more expensive and inefficient:
1. Not Paying Attention to Additional Fees
The cell phone industry gets a lot of attention for tacking on additional and hidden fees to your bill after the fact, and shipping carrier services are no different. When looking for a shipping carrier, pay attention to the additional fees that large carriers often add on to your bill after the fact. These can be for things such as fuel, residential services, handling and more. Make sure you're budgeting for these in the cost of shipping, and are using the most efficient carrier service for the package you're trying to ship.
Another fee to make sure you're paying attention to is weight. If there's a difference between the weight you told the carrier the package was and the actual weight, they will charge you for the difference. Make sure packages that are ready to ship are the correct weight you budgeted for.
2. Using Incorrect Packaging
Most companies are very inefficient with their packaging, and it ends up costing them more money. Make sure your packaging isn’t too large and it's the right size for the product you're trying to ship. It can be easy to grab the nearest box and use it because of convenience, but you may end up paying more money for the air inside. Also, make sure your packaging isn’t adding too much additional weight. If your packaging is too heavy, you may be paying way more than you need to.
3. Not Diversifying Your Carriers
It can be easy for companies to stick to one carrier due to ease of use and convince, or because they don’t know using multiple carriers is even an option, but it’s not very cost effective or efficient for your business. Each carrier is good at different things and not all carriers are a good match for every product that goes out the door. It's good to know which carriers fit your packages the best. In some cases, you will have a shipping profile that can fit better with multiple carriers, not just one.
Devin Johnson is the founder and CEO of FirstMile, a company that optimizes shipment routing for transit and cost..
Related story: How Shipping Can Give Your E-Commerce Business a Competitive Edge