In a customer-centric environment, companies must find every edge to compete. It may seem impossible to compete with some of the larger retailers of the world, but when it comes to shipping, having the lowest shipping rates at your disposal can help you stay in the conversation.
Shipping may seem an incidental cost to most businesses, but once a business goes high volume, these costs can add up. Typically in the past, USPS Commercial Plus pricing program has been reserved for companies that spend more than $50K in shipping per year. Now, shipping platforms like ShippingEasy make these rates available to any size business, and that has helped level the playing field in e-commerce. This has contributed to the significant growth of e-commerce.
However, saving money on shipping is only the first way that having the lowest shipping rates grows your business. Let’s take a look at some of the other advantages you gain by taking the time to keep your money.
The Lowest Shipping Rates Let You Invest in Marketing
When the lowest shipping rates are saving you money on shipping, you have money to invest in building your business through marketing. Today’s data-driven world requires a particular investment in customer marketing tactics—that is, focusing on repeat business from current customers rather than seeking out new business from new customers. By directly targeting an audience that has already shown interest in your products, you cut through the clutter and increase relevance.
Take the time to segment your audience properly, and you’ll see a direct impact on your marketing efforts. The return on this kind of time investment is substantial. Limiting your interaction with low-value prospects and focusing your attention on highly interested customer groups improves your bounce rate, cost per unit sold, and conversion rate. Some examples of highly targeted campaigns that convert are product recommendations (based on previous purchases) and loyalty programs invitations. To further streamline the process, these can be easily automated to trigger at the right time to improve conversion.
With the appropriate investment in managing data, you can create trigger-based email campaigns, highly specific one-time ad campaigns, and generate awareness and reviews for products. You also can follow up on abandoned carts and create customer win-back campaigns, scale your outreach for the season, bolster your image library and create newsletters to stay top of mind with your audience. A little time and money investment into the right marketing tactics go a long way to building your business.
The Lowest Shipping Rates Let You Offer Free Shipping
Perhaps one of the most overlooked yet important benefits of having the lowest shipping rates is the ability to offer free shipping. Think of yourself as a consumer for a minute—you see this offer everywhere. You may wonder how companies can offer free shipping if they are shipping internationally or shipping huge products. The answer is simple: when you have the lowest shipping rates the savings make it easier to offer.
Also, when you have the ability to compare rate across different carriers, you can optimize your shipping rates to find the most cost-effective methods of hitting your shipping service levels. This becomes particularly important as the holidays roll around and you need to hit tighter, more important windows.
Free shipping is becoming more than a competitive advantage. It’s becoming an expectation, and your business needs to find ways to offer it to customers.
The Lowest Shipping Rates Help You Invest in Other Tools
Many successful business people will tell you that you make your money on the buy, not on the sell. This advice means that your supply-side expenses make just as much of a difference as your final prices on your total revenues. If you can lower your costs of inventory, storage, and order management, you can make more money with the same sale price.
Let’s take a look at a couple of streamlining tools that you can use right now.
Keeping accurate inventory counts accelerates the sales process in nearly every aspect of the supply chain. Not only can you automate management of your suppliers, but you can also gather the appropriate product performance metrics to ensure an optimized supply chain.
In many cases, keeping your shipping costs low has to do with timing. Inventory management ensures that you can receive stock and sync your inventory with shipments. The farther ahead that you can predict your inventory needs, the less you will have to worry about stockouts and backorders.
You can also help your distribution efforts by creating safety stock quantities and alerting yourself to low stock, which good inventory management software should be capable of doing. With these tools in place, you can set up a just-in-time (JIT) system that will help you negotiate the lowest prices with shippers and improve your cash flow overall, as Mason Bottle did.
The right system can also help you to create a supplier database. This helps to connect suppliers with your products, improving your ability to go from low stock inventory straight purchase order with a specific SKU.
Knowing how much inventory you will need at any given time also gives you the ability to maximize the use of your warehouse space. If you keep the appropriate churn on your inventory, you may even be able to move into smaller warehouse spaces while scaling up with the amount of inventory that you move.
Understanding where your inventory is going to and coming from also helps you place your warehouse space in the appropriate geographic area. Having physical proximity is a plus if you are looking to save money on shipping costs.
If you are saving money on shipping costs and optimizing your inventory and warehousing, you will have more money to put back into the growth of your business. The less that you are spending on storage means the more that you can put back into marketing, research and development, hiring new labor or expanding your technological base. It all comes around full circle.
Overall, getting the lowest shipping rates is one of the best things that you can do for your business. Even though it may not seem like a huge thing while you’re small, think about your scale. Once you begin shipping products all over the world (or even across large portions of your home country), the shipping costs definitely begin to build up.
ShippingEasy can help with much of the above through our software, expert consultations, and ongoing support. Learn more about how to get the best rates, streamline your e-commerce business, and make this your best year yet. Just click below!
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- Everything You Need to Know About Inventory Management - December 6, 2019