Shipping as a Small Business: What Are Your Options?

In today’s commerce world, shipping is vital. There’s no two ways about it - if your company isn’t sending products directly to the customer, you’ll soon be left behind. Whether you’re stepping up your shipping process or just starting out, this post will let you know everything you’ll need to help streamline and speed up your packaging and shipping processes.

After all, we’re the experts, so allow us to take your through the options you have as a small business embarking on a change in your shipping processes. 

busy warehouse with forklift

Free shipping or not

Small businesses obviously don’t have the infrastructure that huge logistics companies do, so you’ll need to choose a shipping provider or utilise a service like Easyship, which offer pre-negotiated rates with 50+ couriers worldwide. The next consideration is to decide whether you intend to pass on the shipping costs to your consumer, or instead opt for free or low-rate shipping and absorb some of the cost.

Free shipping is a simple way to immediately put yourself on an even footing with bigger players in your industry - but this comes at a risk as you might have to increase product prices to help offset the cost. One compromise might be to offer free shipping on products over a certain price point - allowing you to limit your generosity to orders with substantially higher value. This common strategy might also result in customers making additional purchases to reach the free shipment threshold, which will also help boost sales.

Opt for bespoke packaging

While you can opt for free packaging from whichever shipping supplier you choose - this won’t give you the opportunity to curate a positive reputation with your customers on a personal level. Taking the extra time to design your own packaging will mean a better and more brand-centric experience for your customers when they unwrap your package.

Custom shipping boxes and bespoke postal packaging can transform your brand identity, vital if your company is an ecommerce-first brand like a meal kit service. The appeal of companies such as Gousto and Hello Fresh is driven by their distinctive packaging, so if you’re aiming to carve out a niche in a sector like this then your packaging can’t afford to be bland.

Find the right protective products

Your small business’s reputation can be tarnished by a product that is broken in transit. This can be a problem if you’ve opted for a ‘dropshipping’ system, wherein a third-party stores and ships your items. Companies such as these can sometimes misplace or damage goods - so you might want to bring your shipping in-house in this case, investing in proper protective packaging that is best suited for your products.

We take pride in our status as one of the UK's leading parcel tape manufacturers, so you should also consider making sure that all your packages are taped up properly - to avoid any mishaps in the postal system.

bubble wrap

A combination of packing peanuts and bubble wrap that makes sure every single one of your products is protected from the vagaries of the postal system is your best bet. When you combine this with creatively designed mailing boxes, you’ll soon be on your way to packaging perfection.