Shipping a product is one of the key elements of the fulfillment services. However, for small and medium business this is the trickiest part as they have to reduce their cost & also maintain a position in the growing competition. The catch here lies in economical ways of shipping inventories.

The key point in doing this is keeping the packaging as light and small as possible. This is because most shipping companies charge based on the size and weight of the package to be delivered. Poly mailers are a good option as they are lightweight and cost effective as they can be adjusted according to the requirement. Some carriers like USPS, DHL, and UPS offer packaging free of cost which reduces the cost a lot.

After the packaging is over the next step involved is labeling. Labeling is required to sort inventories and to ensure their proper delivery. Labeling can be done manually, by writing down the details on each packaging. The sellers can also take help of some websites like Shopify which integrate details, this can be downloaded as pdf & then printed as stickers. Barcodes can be used for labeling for better management as and when the business grows.

Free shipping is a key to sales promotion However, cost of shipping can never be zero. Someone or the other has to pay. To make free shipping work, a few options are :

● Using an increased price for the inventory which will include the price of shipping and the actual price.

● The seller can bare the price of shipping as one of its input costs out of its profits.

● The seller may share the price of shipping with the customer by paying some of the shipping cost himself and by charging some on the customer.

● The company can offer a fixed shipping rate. But, this policy is effective only if the company is offering a single type of products.

● The company might also offer a minimum amount which would make an individual eligible to get free shipping, like Amazon which offers free shipping for orders above Rs. 500.

● The company might offer free shipping for a limited period as a promotional event.

● The company may offer promo codes to new customers which would enable these customers to get free shipping. This will reach the customer as a welcome offer and act as a great tool for promotion.

● The company may also choose to integrate the website to shipping services websites so that the buyer can choose a company according to his/her convenience. The prices of each company will be available to each customer. This provides clarity.

Another way of economically shipping inventories is through drop shopping. Here the seller orders the product to the drop shipper which he/she receives on his online store. The extra charge of drop shipping is included on the price displayed on the online store. The packaging and shipping is managed by the drop shipper.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].