When you’re running an online store, shipping and fulfilment can make or break you. And the more business you do, the more important it becomes.

Setting yourself up to ship in the right way is a critical part of running a successful online business.

That little bit of extra effort will cut down your costs and give you back valuable time you can spend taking your business to the next level.

A new ebook from shipping partners ShipStation and Sendle, The Small Business Guide to Efficient Shipping, reveals the key steps online retailers can take to help save time and costs on ecommerce fulfilment.

The guide provides practical tips for setting up the right shipping strategy, navigating demands for free shipping, and automating your shipping workflow.

Here are some tips offered in the guide to help you streamline your shipping, while also saving time and money:

  • Make sure the shoe(box) fits

A simple place to start when looking for ways to cut your shipping costs is to make sure you’re using right-sized packaging. Your packaging dimensions have a significant impact on shipping costs.

  • Embrace shipping integrations 

Find the right marketplaces and use the best carriers to quickly get their shipments to them. The more sales you get in marketplaces, the better your brand authority becomes. 

  • Automate your shipping

The more you ship, the more you recognise that certain parcels going to certain destinations use the same shipping service and packaging. Using ShipStation, you can automatically apply certain orders to have specific shipping configurations applied upon import.

  • Compare shipping rates

A major advantage of shipping platforms like ShipStation is the shipping calculator. You can quickly see all available rates for a parcel and compare options based on speed and cost.

  • Set up email notifications

Shipping confirmation emails have the highest open rate of any type of email customers receive from businesses. Confirmation emails and branded tracking pages can help elevate your brand’s authority with customers.

Case study: How Subo streamlined fulfillment and reduced shipping time by half

The guide also highlights how the integration of ShipStation and Sendle can create a simplified shipping solution, as well as provide a number of shipping automations and shortcuts designed to reduce manual entry and save you time.

For example, Subo, which runs its storefront on Shopify and ships with Sendle, started using ShipStation to automate and streamline fulfillment.

“With ecommerce, fulfillment is the biggest thing. We knew we needed to get that part right-both for the efficiency of our operation, and for our customers,” said Jen Wales, Operations Manager.

“Up until then, we’d print every shipping label individually, and hand write the order details on the back to fulfill it that way. It was a very manual process, which left a lot of room for human error.”

The arrival of lockdowns sent sales booming yet again, and Subo’s new streamlined way of shipping ended up being a lifeline for the business.

“For us, one of the biggest time savers has been the use of order tags to automatically allocate things like packaging size, type of destination, and shipping provider. Connecting to Sendle was simple too, and once we’re ready, Sendle picks our packages up right from the warehouse door.”

The time Subo now spends on shipping has been cut in half, and as the business continues to grow, the team can put that time elsewhere.

“We weren’t expecting it, but the pandemic really put us into a stage of growth. Now we need to continue it. Making the process of fulfilment so much easier allows us time to focus on the marketing side of the business and continue to grow.”

Why it pays to invest in your shipping strategy 

Whether you’ve been shipping for years, or you’re just getting started with an online business, it pays to think about your shipping strategy and how you want to charge for delivery.

When you’re shipping efficiently, it means more of your customers are getting their orders on time and giving you their trust and loyalty as a result.

ShipStation has worked with its partner Sendle to compile a guide full of practical steps that online retailers can take to set themselves up with the right shipping strategy for their business. 

Download The Small Business Guide to Efficient Shipping from ShipStation and Sendle to learn more.