Business, For Entrepreneurs

How to Set Up a Shipping System for Your Online Shop

small business tips

Woohoo!
You’re launching an online shop! 🎉🎉

That first order rolls in, and — uh oh! What the heck comes next? It may seem simple enough to pack & ship items, but when you don’t have a system in place, you’re bound to have a few headaches. I’m here to help!

A few years ago, I transitioned from being purely service-based with my photography business, to opening my second business, White Spruce Market. As an online-based company shipping nationwide, I quickly had to get my ish together when it came to fulfilling orders!

My top tips for a rock-solid shipping system:

  • Map out the flow of your shipping process before you create your system
  • Bulk buy your shipping supplies to save major $$
  • Invest in a shipping or postage scale, along with a label printer (recommendations below)
  • Batch-fulfill orders on designated days each week (for White Spruce Market, we ship on Mondays + Thursdays)
  • Create an assembly line when packing orders
  • Have at least one large table or surface for your assembly line
  • Include fun branded touches (ideas include…a sticker on the box, branded mailing labels or packing tape, branded insert, thank you note, special card with promo code)
  • Create an account with your preferred shipping provider (as a business, you should be getting discounted shipping rates).
  • OR, if you’re using a platform like Shopify, you can ship within the platform itself, and get up to 45% off retail shipping rates!
  • And finally, consider offering free shipping, which will increase your shop conversions in a big way (remember: you can always factor shipping costs into your product prices, so you’re not losing $$). It may sound funny, but psychologically, people would rather pay $10 more for the product & get free shipping, than pay $10 less & have to cover their own shipping.

 

Example Shipping Workflow:

  1. Gather all needed products for today’s shipments.
  2. Pack products into shipping boxes or mailers.
  3. Add branded inserts / thank you cards.
  4. Write order number on corner of package so you’ll remember!
  5. Weigh each package using scale, and write weight on corner of each package.
  6. On your computer, bring up each order one by one, and create weight-based shipping labels for each (this is super easy to do in a program like Shopify or Squarespace!).
  7. Print each label & apply to package.
  8. Schedule a pickup with shipping provider. They’ll come to your home & pickup your packages on a date of your choice!

 

Shipping Supplies:

 

Shipping Providers:

USPS:

Good for small packages less than 2 lbs. Flat Rate boxes may be best for heavier packages. Offers free package pickup.

UPS:

Fast & reliable, great for larger packages. Offers package pickup for a fee.

FedEx:

Fast & reliable, great for larger packages. Offers package pickup for a fee.

My pick:

I love & adore UPS! They’ve proven to be the most economical, reliable option for White Spruce Market. Our packages are 14x14x6″ and 11x11x5″, and average between 3-6 pounds, shipping from Duluth, MN. For a $4 flat fee, they come to my home & pickup however many packages I have that day! It’s great.

 

Have questions about shipping for your online business?

Email me here, I’m an open book & would love to chat!

 

marketing and selling during uncertain times

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