How Small Businesses Can Get Shipping Discounts

  • Written by Tamsin Mackay
How Small Businesses Can Get Shipping Discounts

Shipping is one of the most important parts of running a small ecommerce business. Customers expect it to be fast, efficient and cheap.

It’s such an important part of the customer experience, and according to Forbes, "the most common reason online shoppers abandon their cart is because of additional costs like shipping, taxes and fees (48%)”.

In fact, 68.2% of customers were more likely to purchase a product online if it came with free delivery and 37% would opt into a purchase if it was delivered the next day.

These stats point to one very important fact – the small business needs strong shipping solutions to ensure it meets customer needs.

The problem is, shipping is expensive. In fact, as it turns out, small to midsize businesses can overspend by as much as 13% on shipping every year.

Navigating shipping discounts

Different carriers and companies have different shipping discount packages for small businesses.

But it can be hard to find information on them, so we’ve wrapped it all up in one handy guide.

FedEx – the Small Business Center

FedEx has created a dedicated Small Business Center that provides small businesses with a variety of different features and tools to help you navigate shipping costs more effectively.

The center offers access to the FedEx Rewards program. When you join the program, you earn gift cards and merchandise from selected retailers and you can request refunds or credit if your FedEx Ground or FedEx Express shipments run late.

FedEx offers you a variety of discounts through the FedEx Great Rates Hotline which gives you savings on packages within the US and internationally. You also get easy to understand shipping rates and costs using an accessible quote line.

UPS – Small Business Rates

UPS offers you a simple and cost-effective small business shipping alternative with an easily accessible rate guide you can reference whenever you need. The shipping firm offers small businesses specialized rates, easy to understand discounts and fewer fees.

The latter is a win – you don’t get charged for address corrections or a missing PLD or other similar issues.

To kickstart your UPS discounted shipping rates, you provide the company with information about your business, review the discounts they offer you and then apply them to your account.

DHL – Small Business Hub

DHL has a business hub which offers a variety of different services to support small businesses. The company doesn’t have as many small business benefits as say, FedEx, but it does offer you shipping guides and support.

The DHL Quick Send service is designed to make shipping as quick as possible and is integrated with platforms such as eBay and Amazon and they have a dedicated discounts and offers page. Read our in-depth guide to DHL shipping to get the most from your shipping.

Further reading: 5 Reasons to Ship Your International Packages With DHL

USPS – Small Business Solutions

USPS has the Click-N-Ship option for small businesses to help them get lower commercial rates and a Business Rate Card that provides additional savings on some services.

The shipping firm also offers free shipping supplies and package collections alongside reduced rates if you use their shipping label printing service. Take a look at our guide on how to use USPS for your small business.

Amazon Buy Shipping

Amazon Buy Shipping is designed to help you save significant shipping costs as easily as possible. It automatically suggests shipping services based on services that can meet your delivery promise, carrier preference and lowest available costs.

By using Amazon Buy Shipping you are protected from A-to-Z claims where if you purchase Amazon's Buy Shipping and ship on time, you are protected against A-to-Z claims where a customer reports problems with delivery.

The Amazon Buy Shipping service also offers you cost savings when you purchase labels in bulk up to 100 orders at once. Plus, this service gives you access to Amazon’s negotiated rates.

Look into all the ways you can cut shipping costs

There are several other steps you can take to help you cut your shipping costs as a small business. These include

1. Packing materials

You can save money on your shipping if you're able to get discounts on your supplies.

Many materials such as bubble wrap can be bought in bulk which will save you money over the long term, plus you can also see if your chosen courier or shipping service offers you free packing materials you can use instead.

You can even save packing materials from deliveries you receive and re-use it for your packages - not only is this cost-effective, but it's also sustainable and better for the planet.

Further reading: How Do You Package Items for Shipping?

2. Packaging size and type

When choosing your packaging, think about solutions such as flat rate shipping to help you reduce costs if you regularly ship heavy or oddly shaped items, and ensure your package is always the right size and shape for your deliveries.

If your boxes are too big, you’re paying extra for no reason. This doesn’t mean compromising on your packing materials or on product safety, but if you can find a balance between packing materials and box size that keeps the costs down, then that’s a win.

3. Distance

You can end up paying more on shipping fees when your customers are far away. The rule of shipping thumb is simple – the further the destination, the higher the costs.

You’ll save money on shipping if you ship within certain zones and keep the distances short.

4. Negotiate

You should talk directly to shipping companies about your shipping rates. Yes, they often have small business centers or dedicated small business rates, but there’s always a chance you can slice some more costs off the end if you negotiate a volume-based discount or if you promise shipping carrier loyalty for a period of time.

5. Hybrid

Some companies collaborate to cut costs on shipping overall and you can benefit from this service to get some impressive discounts.

These hybrid services have companies like UPS SurePost or FedEx Smart Post collecting your parcel and then transporting it to a sorting facility from where it is then transported to the destination.

The trade-off here, however, is speed.

6. Software

Use shipping software that's designed to help lower your costs as standard. Services like Veeqo are designed to help you manage your inventory, orders, and shipping labels while also giving you discounted access to shipping services that can really help you manage the bottom line.

Veeqo is an all-in-one inventory management and shipping software, owned by Amazon, so you'll not only get access to our powerful suite of inventory and forecasting tools, but you'll also access the lowest commercially available rates, based on our pre-negotiated pricing from UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL and up to 5% back with Veeqo Credits.

And it's free, no strings attached. Sign-up now to start shipping and saving money.

7. Automate

By optimizing your shipping processes, you can scale your business, keep up with customer demands and stay on top of discounts, price increases and costs. Automation helps you to save time, minimize errors and increase your overall efficiencies.

8. Labels

Shipping labels are an important part of small business ecommerce as they help you manage packages and shipping and reduce errors. Veeqo offers a free shipping label software that helps small businesses streamline and automate the shipping process.

Benefits of using Veeqo

As we mentioned, Veeqo offers you pre-negotiated discounts with leading carriers that are automatically going to save you money on your shipping. We help you to access the lowest commercially available rates, based on our pre-negotiated pricing from UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL, and up to 5% back with Veeqo Credits.

Veeqo also allows you to connect your own carrier accounts without any extra fees, so if you’ve taken the time to negotiate discounted fees with specific carriers, you simply bring them into your account and connect them in Veeqo.

Plus, you also get the a-to-z guarantee on your eligible Amazon orders when you ship on time.

We help you save time and money while staying ahead of your customers and business growth. Our services also extend into inventory control, warehouse management, and so much more.

So what are you waiting for? Sign-up today and discover your route to cheaper shipping for small business with Veeqo.

About the author


Written by Tamsin Mackay


Tamsin Mackay is a freelance copywriter and journalist with an extensive career writing about technology and all its permutations, applications and evolutions.

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