10 shipping tips for small businesses in Singapore
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In the world of small businesses, the challenge of efficient shipping takes centre stage. According to an article published by SME Horizon, with the e-commerce boom, fast and secure delivery isn't just an added perk; it's a customer expectation. Therefore, optimising shipping processes is critical for businesses to meet these demands. In this blog post, we delve into 10 practical and actionable tips to help small businesses in Singapore master the complex world of shipping and delivery.

How to minimise shipping costs

If you’re wondering how to cut shipping costs and ship products for your small business, knowing what contributes to your expenses is key to effectively controlling them.

Tip 1: Recognise the factors influencing shipping costs

Shipping costs are derived from several parameters. These include the speed of service (express or standard), the size and weight of the parcel, its destination (local or international), and the volume of shipments you send out regularly. Understanding how these factors interact can give you a comprehensive view of your shipping expenses, helping you make smarter decisions about your shipping methods and strategies.

Tip 2: Sign up for a corporate account

Always look out for corporate plans when selecting your shipping carrier as these plans often come with a host of benefits tailored for businesses. As a DHL Express business account holder, for example, not only can you enjoy competitive discounts on shipping rates, but you'll also have access to exclusive features on the MyDHL+ platform. This can make preparing shipments and tracking them far more streamlined. Additionally, with priority customer support, you'll have assistance available whenever you need it, ensuring that your shipping operations run smoothly and efficiently. Such privileges make it advantageous for businesses like yours to opt for a corporate account over a regular one.

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How to establish your shipping strategy

A well-rounded shipping strategy can bring in the profits you’re after.

Tip 3: Align your shipping strategy with the overall business goals

Your shipping strategy should reflect the larger objectives of your business and meet your customers' expectations. For instance, you can consider the following: the geographical reach of your operations, your preferred carriers, the types of products you ship, and how you'll manage customer returns. Keep in mind that a smooth and fair returns process can dramatically enhance customer satisfaction and foster loyalty.

Tip 4: Leverage technology for better shipping management

Efficient shipping requires managing many moving parts. With the help of shipping tools, you can automate essential tasks like creating shipping labels, tracking shipments, and managing returns, reducing manual labour. Such tools streamline your shipping process and free up time and resources to focus on other critical areas of your business.

How to negotiate shipping rates

Understanding how to negotiate shipping rates can lead to cost-effective results for many small businesses in Singapore.

Tip 5: Negotiate volume discounts

Negotiating volume discounts can be a game changer for businesses shipping large quantities. These discounts offer immediate savings and position your business as a valuable client to carriers. The improved status can lead to preferential treatment, such as expedited shipping and enhanced tracking features. Furthermore, your shipments' frequent and consistent nature can increase your bargaining power during rate negotiations.

Tip 6: Establish strong relationships with carriers

Cultivating strong relationships with your carriers can provide numerous benefits beyond cost considerations. Such relationships often result in improved service, with carriers offering flexible delivery options to their trusted partners. Moreover, good rapport can give you early access to carriers' new services, keeping your business at the forefront of shipping innovations. Lastly, in the event of a problem with a shipment, carriers are more likely to extend extra help to solve issues for their trusted partners, ensuring smooth operations and satisfied customers.

How to decide on your e-commerce delivery charges

Tip 7: Consider offering free shipping thresholds and varied shipping options

At the heart of a well-structured shipping strategy is an accessible delivery fee that can boost your business; it incentivises customers to spend more. Offering cheap or free shipping thresholds encourages larger purchases as customers try to reach the minimum order value. This solution offsets your shipping costs with increased order values. At the same time, provide a range of shipping options from cost-effective, slower delivery to premium, faster options such as same-day delivery to customisable solutions with on-demand delivery. This variety allows customers to choose what suits them best, enhancing their shopping experience and increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases.

How to ensure safe shipment of goods

Effective packaging and handling solutions can protect your products and enhance your customers' experience. 

Tip 8: Develop effective packaging and insurance strategies

Invest in quality packaging to protect your products during transit, which reduces return rates and maintains high customer satisfaction. For high-value and fragile items, consider opting for add-on services like shipping insurance to protect against potential damage or loss. Additionally, consider standardising your packaging dimensions to simplify shipping cost calculation and packing process, reducing overheads and avoiding unexpected fees.

How to maintain exceptional customer service

Tip 9: Develop a customer-friendly returns policy

A straightforward and fair returns policy enhances customer experience and builds trust in your business. This includes offering hassle-free refunds or replacements for lost or damaged shipments, demonstrating your commitment to customer satisfaction and encouraging repeat purchases.

Tip 10: Uphold clear communication 

Be transparent about shipping costs, methods, and timeframes. This fosters trust and prevents misunderstandings. Tracking your shipments allows you to resolve issues, minimising impacts on customer satisfaction. Prioritise exceptional customer service, promptly addressing queries or concerns related to shipping, which enhances your brand image and encourages customer loyalty.

Partner with a reliable logistics service provider

When navigating the sometimes complex world of logistics, partnering with a trusted service provider is an absolute game-changer. This partnership not only facilitates the smooth handling of all shipping aspects, from product picking to final delivery but also offers access to professional tools and systems that guarantee efficiency and accuracy. In addition to managing your operations, your trusted logistics service provider can provide you with the latest updates on customs regulations, carrier weight and size restrictions to avoid unexpected costs, problems, or delays. Regularly revising and adjusting your shipping costs in line with changes in market rates, operational costs, and your business scale is critical to maintain your competitive edge and ensure sustainability.

At DHL Express Singapore, we offer tools that empower small businesses to achieve this scale. The MyDHL+ platform is a prime example. It's a comprehensive digital tool that lets you manage your shipping operations and track your packages in real-time. With MyDHL+, you gain a better grip and visibility over your operations, setting you on the path to delivering an unparalleled customer experience and minimising the risks of poor service delivery.

Beyond MyDHL+, we also offer tools such as On-Demand Delivery and DHL Express Commerce. These are designed to provide flexibility and seamless integration with your business, further simplifying the shipping process for you.

In essence, partnering with us and utilising our suite of digital tools can profoundly optimise your shipping strategy. Harness these resources to craft a robust, efficient shipping process for your small business. Sign up for a business account with us today and start benefiting from these advantages. 

For more tips, learn how you can cut down on your shipping costs, especially as a small business owner.