In February, Justin Timberlake went to Twitter to ask his followers the meaning of, “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” As an e-commerce retailer, you might be tempted to explain the phrase to the pop star using your shipping fee conundrum as an example. You can’t offer free shipping to your customers and expect to see the same profits as when you charged them for shipping and handling. But then you would be wrong. You can offer free shipping without cutting into your margins by working with a shipping courier broker. They help lower the overall fees you pay for shipping, regardless of your shipping volume, so you can offer free shipping and still turn a profit.
The importance of volume: small- versus large-scale shipping
As a small business, your e-commerce site doesn’t operate on the same scale as gigantic retailers like Amazon, eBay, or ASOS. According to the latest statistics, Amazon averages 608 million packages each year. That’s roughly 1.6 million parcels leaving Amazon warehouses per day. Now compare these figures to your own. The number of parcels you send pales in comparison.
It’s your size that prevents you from accessing high volume discounts enjoyed by larger e-commerce merchants. On your own, the top couriers will take no notice of your business, and they won’t be eager to cut you a deal. It can take a long time to go from courier to courier, trying to negotiate the best deal. Often your “best” isn’t worth the effort.
Shipping couriers like UPS, FedEx, DHL, Loomis, and Purolator are impressed by numbers. The more parcels you send, the better deals they’re willing to offer.
Small courier brokers help even the scales
That being said, it’s wrong to think you can’t tap into these deals unless you’re a big-time retailer. A shipping courier broker is your secret weapon for unlocking deeply discounted rates. A broker doesn’t just represent your single business. In some cases, a broker firm represents multiple thousands of clients at once. The brokers at netParcel, for example, help 7,619 small businesses find the lowest shipping prices. Because their client list is so large, they can successfully exploit bulk buying rates and share the discounts.
A successful broker should have a working relationship with North America’s top couriers, like UPS, FedEx, Purolator, and more. But with such a selection, there’s a huge opportunity for confusion between couriers and rates. That’s why a company like netParcel streamlines their rates into a convenient online comparison tool. It displays the possible courier options all in one, simple-to-use platform that integrates a variety of online stores, like Etsy and Shopify.
As an owner of a small e-commerce site, you didn’t get into the business because you love thinking about shipping fees. So don’t agonize over it any longer. Readjust your shipping policy with the help of a courier broker. With their help, you can negotiate reduced shipping rates that allow you offer free shipping to your customers. Or, in other words, have your cake and eat it too.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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