Cheapest Way to Ship Subscription Boxes
Shipping is an essential element of a subscription box business. Discover the cheapest way to ship subscription boxes here.
In the last couple of years, getting subscription boxes sent to front doors has grown more popular than before. Even within the limits that COVID-19 has placed, studies have shown that subscriber acquisition rates have grown by 22 percent. Because of its premise of convenience and predictability, customers have made these shipping subscriptions a necessity for their households.
Even so, while you want to sell and ship as many boxes as you can, you also need to consider how to save money when subscription box shipping.
Discover the cheapest way to ship subscription boxes for your business needs and succeed in subscription box fulfillment.
Determine Your Shipping Needs
To figure out how shipping subscriptions can be cost-effective while getting delivered quickly, you need to think about what your business needs are for shipping purposes. Some important questions to ask include:
- Are your subscription orders batched and shipped at the same time every month, spread out during the month, or limited edition?
- Should fulfillment operations support daily e-commerce orders as well?
- What is the average monthly order volume?
- Does your business have periods of higher volume?
- What are the average package size and weight for a box?
- Where is the shipping point of origin?
- What is the geographic range needed for deliveries?
- What are your subscribers’ expectations?
- What is your growth strategy?
Once you figure out these questions, you are ready to start looking at options that can save you money. At all points in the packing and shipping process, these variables must be met.
Consider Custom Designing Your Package
Subscription packages are often shipped in steel shipping containers and then distributed from a central location. While most people learn that you should not judge a book by its cover, that is not the case when a customer sees the package on the outside. Other than making sure the subscription box has not been damaged during transport, businesses seeking to make a big impact on customers and sell their brand should consider using their custom-designed boxes. It also allows for the customer to experience something different than the typical package that may come to their door regularly.
Visual presentation matters and it should come across as effective even if there are issues during shipping.
Don’t Fly By Air
While it may sound quicker, choosing to ship your product by air can end up costing you more money in the long run. Prices for this kind of service are notoriously expensive. This may not be good for your business if you are not part of a conglomerate or corporation that can consistently afford it.
Find the Right USPS Service
Among many people and businesses who use them, USPS shipping rates are considered the best choice for the ideal cost to speed ratio for shipping purposes.
If your box is under a pound, First Class Package is the cheapest and correct service to use. First-Class Package offers a flat cost for the entire country depending on the exact weight in ounces, comes with tracking, and usually takes one to three days for delivery. If you are shipping a box is over a pound however, the cheapest service to use is Priority Mail, which has one to three days delivery included and provides tracking and $100 insurance.
USPS offers Priority Mail Cubic, a service that had historically only been offered to big shippers and is the primary reason for the rise in subscription boxes. The rates are based on the dimensions of the box you want to ship. For the same cost, you can ship up to 20 pounds.
Don’t Forget Other Mail Services
While it is good to have the USPS as one of your main resources for mailing your boxes, it is still important to keep other shipping services in mind. Here are some of the mail carriers other than USPS you should consider.
UPS or FedEx Ground
Other than USPS, this may be the kind of mail service you may know the most. These services have a typical delivery speed of one to five days. Keep in mind that there can be a lot of surcharges, such as fuel costs, residential delivery costs, and rural delivery costs. This can lower your cost-saving abilities in the long run.
UPS or FedEx Express
UPS and FedEx Express offers both two-day and overnight shipping times. A bonus is that when you sign up for your own account through a trade or industry association, you can get an approximately 20% discount off retail rates.
This service is good to use if your subscription box contains any items that are perishable and you don’t have the means to insulate the product for a long period of time. It is also good if you need any guaranteed delivery dates.
Well-known mail consolidators include DHL eCommerce, UPS Surepost, and FedEx Smartpost.
What they do is pick up your packages and send them to their warehouse, where they will then be combined with other packages and sorted into regions. After that, the consolidators will drive the packages to other warehouses in each of those regions, which are then sorted into cities. Then, they drive the packages to each city and give them to USPS for the final “last-mile” delivery, also known as Parcel Select.
One thing to take note of is hidden costs, since these services don’t offer any perks like insurance or free returns for undeliverable packages. There could also be more direct costs from customer support hours if necessary.
Here are some things you should keep in mind when looking at shipping boxes in the mail.
- Shipment history: observing the service’s quality, meaning factors like speed, returns, damages, prices, and conditions
- Delivery time: the sooner, the better
- Proven history of quick delivery
- Whether customers are able to track orders
- Whether the carrier has a good tracking system
Whichever mail carrier you use to ship your subscription boxes, make sure that using them will both save you money and let customers know that the item they paid for is on their way.
Data, Data, Data
Analyzing data is one of the easiest ways that you can check how a service or method of shipping is working for your subscription box shipping. Reviewing shipping data from the past can help identify patterns and trends to keep an eye on.
One way to do this is by inputting data into an Excel or Google sheet and making calculations and graphs.
Another way to analyze data is through parcel analytics software. A parcel analytics software can help you understand the current average costs it takes to ship and see the effect of a number of variables. You might consider how accessorial charges are impacting your shipping costs or the difference in rates for shipping ground vs. by air.
Keep Your Products (and Customers) Safe
While packing the items in your package, make sure your items are properly packed so they are not at risk of breaking while shipping. This can include using wrapping paper to place around the items in the subscription box and placing seals around the box.
Safety should be a priority at all times when shipping subscriptions. Especially during a pandemic, customers are looking for assurance that their packages have not been opened by anyone else outside the warehouse when the package was originally sealed.
Do Your Research
You can do all of the work you feel your subscription box fulfillment goals need, but none of that will matter if you do not take the time to research the supplies you want to use and look up relevant information.
How We Can Help Your Business
Fulfilltopia offers subscription fulfillment where we help outsource your fulfillment operations while being able to handle the day-to-day tasks. With this problem solved, you can focus on other important tasks that you need to complete for your business. Fulfilltopia stands to create a unique experience for businesses desiring to make cost-effective subscription boxes through consultations on customized boxes, packing lists, and marketing inserts.
Choose the Cheapest Way to Ship Subscription Boxes
When looking at the cheapest way to ship subscription boxes, you need to figure out which shipping options and rates can help you fulfill your shipping needs while saving money. With a company like Fulfilltopia, we can help you find the easiest way to help your business save money in your wallet and have the best subscription box fulfillment experience.
Let us fulfill your shipping needs in any industry while making each box a unique experience for your customers. Contact us today to learn more about our services, available facilities, and more.