This post is written by Laura Berk. Laura Berk is head of marketing & customer success at Shippo, a shipping API & app for creating shipping labels. Shippo’s technology connects e-commerce SMBs, marketplaces, and platforms to multiple shipping carriers and offers heavily discounted shipping rates. Shippo serves thousands of merchants selling on Shopify, Etsy, BigCommerce, Weebly, GoDaddy, Magento, Spree Commerce, and ePages.
Save Money, Save Time: We share our advice on simplifying your shipping operations
1. Optimize Address Verification
Address errors are one of the most common issues you’ll face when putting together your customer orders for the month. Save yourself heartache by using these two tools for address verification:
Domestic: US addresses
Military: APO/FPO addresses
For international addresses, Google Maps is a great tool to use to help you come up with alternative ways of formatting an address.
2. Be Open About Your Shipping Costs
The people shopping around on your site want the process of buying to be as simple and painless as possible. Make their decision to buy or not buy products from you easier by removing any informational barriers from their path. That means being completely upfront about any and all shipping charges. Shoppers are highly likely to abandon their shopping cart if they are confronted with unexpected costs during the checkout process. That’s not the place for surprises!
3. Provide Return Labels with the Outgoing Order
Another way to make your customer’s experience smoother is to provide them with return labels for products that there’s a higher likelihood for return like clothes and shoes. Scan-based return labels are a particular kind of return label that you don’t pay for unless the customer uses them. We call them “pay when shipped” labels. Using this option adds a few cents to your label’s cost (e.g. $.25 if shipping USPS, $.50 if shipping UPS & FedEx), but it makes for less friction if your customer needs a return label.
4. Country-Specific Customs Documentation
If you’re shipping internationally, you’ll always need to include some form of customs documentation along with your standard shipping label. Customs agencies use the commodity, quantity, value, and country of manufacture, among other factors, to determine the duties & taxes charges they’ll apply to your packages. Here’s a helpful tool for determining an average cost for your customs fees. These fees are difficult to calculate ahead of time and, thus, aren’t included in the cost of the shipping label.
5. Print Shipping Labels With a Thermal Label Printer
Instead of using a standard inkjet printer and cutting to size all of your paper labels, invest in a thermal label printer and use sticker labels instead! We promise, they’re way easier and will save you time in the long-run. Thermal label printers are smaller and sync up with your computer easily. They print your labels much more quickly and are easier to manage than reams of 8.5x11 in paper. Check out the DYMO 4XL, a popular choice among e-commerce merchants.
Like these tips? We’ve got way more e-commerce shipping & operations tips to share. Check out these blog posts on Shippo if you want to learn more:
And -- if you’re looking for a tool to create discounted shipping labels easily, give Shippo a try. Create a test label for free in minutes. Connect your e-commerce store, upload a CSV file, or create a label manually to see how much simpler shipping can be. Never go to the Post Office again.