Mail and Ship Solutions for Small Businesses Selling Online

For small businesses selling online, there’s a natural tie between efficiently driving purchase orders and fulfilling them. If your website is optimized on the front end for conversions, you should also optimize the system for packaging and delivering goods in a timely manner.

This is increasingly important thanks to consumer demand for instant gratification and Amazon’s standardization of next- and same-day deliveries. In fact, studies show that slow or late delivery times can negatively impact customer retention.

As you develop a long-term eCommerce strategy, make fulfillment logistics a top priority. Here are a few considerations to weigh when choosing mail and shipping solutions that make sense for your business.

Consider Customer Experience

Sift through the hashtag feed of unboxing posts on Instagram (or any social channel really),and you’ll realize the role packaging plays in customer experience. You don’t need to fill every box with glitter and butterflies to surprise and delight customers—although, you certainly can if you’d like.

You do, however, need to be mindful of how your product will be handled from point A to point B. The fragility, shape, weight, and distance shipped will all impact the probability of your item arriving to a customer in one piece.

Think about the different types of items you might be packaging on any given day and have a variety of shipping solutions on-hand (e.g., mailing tubes, Fragile labels, boxes in different sizes). Another thing to be conscious of is the growing importance of sustainable packaging among consumers. Use plastic sparingly, and seek out eco-friendly mailers and fillers—like compostable packing peanuts—as it makes sense for your budget.

Be Resourceful and Save Money

Speaking of budget, there are a number of ways to be resourceful and save money when shipping. For starters, you can reuse, when possible, packaging from any vendors you work with. In addition to saving you money on shipping material, this can be a positive value proposition for eco-conscious customers as well.

Additionally, do your research on different carriers and their offerings. Many will offer bulk volume discounts and bundling options with offerings like insurance that may save you money.

If you have the infrastructure for it, curbside pickup is another popular trend that is both convenient for local customers and budget-friendly for your business. Actually implementing the option for your small business might be easier than you think.

Design a System to Scale

Beyond what you're shipping and how you’re shipping it, the packaging process itself should be developed with efficiency and scale in mind. You want to design a system that will grow with your business—not one simply works for the moment.

If you have the room, designate a specific space for outbound and inbound deliveries. Having an island or countertop to process packages on will help keep things clean, tidy, and off the ground. Utilizing mobile file carts for shipping labels and/or a mail sorter for shipping envelopes can also help in staying organized.

By Staples Canada

April 30, 2021