For companies looking to improve client satisfaction and expedite their shipping procedures, small business shipping strategies are critical. 

Although navigating the complex world of shipping can be challenging, small businesses can successfully compete in the market today by putting the correct tactics in place. 

It’s critical to stay ahead of the shipping curve in a world where 22% of prospective clients give up on their online shopping sessions because of delayed deliveries. 

We’ll be providing excellent shipping advice for small businesses in this post to assist you in expanding your enterprise.

Small Business Shipping Tips: Shipping Cost

Understanding the nuances of shipping and fulfillment cost calculations is crucial before adjusting the delivery rates and methods for your shopping cart. Several important aspects determine these costs: 

1) Service and Speed

Consumer expectations have been affected by major industry participants such as Amazon, who have demanded speedier delivery. Although expedited delivery services are usually more expensive, there are other elements that affect the overall cost of shipment. 

A one-size-fits-all strategy is impractical because carriers provide a variety of services depending on a number of variables.

Take into account these important questions while making judgments on shipping:

  • What is the deadline for package delivery?
  • Is a commitment to guaranteed delivery required?
  • Is tracking of packages necessary?
  • Is the address of the recipient a place of business or residence?
  • Do you require any more services, such as signature confirmation?
  • Are you transporting dangerous goods, specialized products, or alcohol?

Your shipping costs will be more accurately estimated if you are aware of the shipping requirements for your product.

2) Dimension and Weight

Weight and size are the usual factors that affect shipping costs, and each carrier has its own policies and specifications.

To facilitate rate comparisons, take into account the following:

  • Dimensional weight (DIM), which is determined by package size rather than actual weight, is the basis for FedEx, USPS, and UPS pricing. Smaller but heavy shipments are less expensive than larger but lighter ones.
  • The dimensions of your package are always necessary to get the greatest deal. The formula for calculating DIM is (Length x Width x Height) / Divisor. A lower rate is produced by increasing the divisor.

The DIM formulae for USPS, UPS, and FedEx are as follows:

– UPS: LxWxH / 139

– FedEx: LxWxH / 139

– USPS (usually the most affordable): LxWxH / 166

Standardized flat-rate shipping is another service provided by major carriers. For domestic delivery, you pay a set fee regardless of the weight and location. As a fast reminder:

  • The weight restriction for flat-rate boxes from UPS and USPS is normally about 70 pounds.
  • The maximum weight for FedEx One Rate boxes is 50 lbs.

Furthermore, cubic pricing is offered. Due to this technique, heavier, smaller packages will not be billed at the same rate as heavier, larger ones. Cubic pricing alternatives are offered by the USPS for Priority Mail shipments. Finding an appropriate cubic rate for goods weighing less than 20 pounds:

  • Use the calculation (Length x Width x Height) / 1728 to determine the cubic feet.
  • There are five categories for this measurement, which range from 0.1 to 0.5 cubic feet. Click this link to view the complete cubic price rates.

3) Distance

Carrier domestic rates are zone-based, therefore the distance between the shipper’s and the recipient’s addresses determines a significant portion of the shipping cost. FedEx, UPS, and USPS all use zone-based distance measurements in the US.

When shipping abroad, keep the following in mind:

  • Check the product’s suitability for shipping, as some nations forbid specific goods.
  • Take into consideration supplemental expenses such as Value Added Tax, levies, duties, and customs declarations.
  • Make any changes to your shipping policy and price to account for the increased costs of sending internationally.

Small Business Shipping Tips: Managing Shipping Volume

Concentrate on developing a large, devoted clientele in order to obtain lower delivery costs. Build a rapport with your carrier account manager in order to receive possible shipping savings.

Consider shipping software for convenient quote comparison, and use a variety of carriers to customize services and rates to your company’s needs.

Consider packing costs when calculating shipping prices, and look into third-party insurance companies like Shipsurance, which have affordable premiums that start at $0.55 per $100 and don’t require a minimum purchase.

Small Business Shipping Tips: Managing Returns

E-commerce inevitably involves returns, and how you manage them will determine how successful you are. Because purchasing online entails greater risk, most buyers carefully review your return policy before completing a transaction. 

This risk can be reduced with a customer-focused returns policy, which will promote repeat business. Customers who had access to ShipStation’s Branded Returns Portal increased their average order volume (AOV) by 16% and were more likely to make repeat purchases, according to 29% of ShipStation users.

Managing foreign returns could be more expensive and time-consuming for global retailers. Make sure your return policy is well-communicated, and if the item is less expensive, think about providing a refund or a replacement instead of asking for the item to be returned.

Small Business Shipping Tips: How Much Should You Charge?

There are several methods you can take into consideration, depending on the situation, when figuring out how much to charge your consumers for shipping:

1) Free Shipping

Giving free shipping can encourage clients to select more economical shipping choices, even if it means a little longer delivery time. It can increase sales and average order size to set a minimum order value for free shipping, such as “Free shipping for orders over $75.” 

While USPS Priority Mail is frequently the best option for packages up to 10 pounds, USPS First Class Mail offers affordable prices for lightweight goods under 16 ounces.

2) Flat-rate shipping

Flat-rate delivery is a sensible substitute for free shipping in cases where it is not possible. Set pricing for various service levels by examining your regular shipping expenses and shipment sizes. 

This strategy is effective if you can use services like USPS Priority Flat Rate and your packages are typically uniform in size and shipping cost.

3) Real-Time Rates 

For large packages, specialty products, and business-to-business transactions, real-time shipping quotations are the best option. By enabling real-time shipping quotations via BigCommerce and other platforms, you reduce the possibility of billing your consumers too much or too little, which builds confidence.

Let’s now examine the programs that might assist you with shipment!

3 Shipping Apps for Small Businesses

1) ShipBob


Rating: 4.1/5

Pricing: There may be additional fees, but installation is free.

In the realm of B2B and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, ShipBob is your reliable ally. They offer first-rate logistical solutions for every one of your sales channels, with a global network spanning over forty sites.

Key Features

  • Same-Day Shipping: ShipBob makes sure that your clients’ orders are delivered to them consistently and on schedule.
  • Customization Suite: Make the most of this tool to present your brand in a distinctive and lasting manner.
  • Global Expansion: Take advantage of possibilities for duties-paid shipping and well-positioned warehouses across six nations.
  • Compliance with B2B and EDI: ShipBob manages compliance with B2B and EDI internally.
  • Simple Integrations: Take advantage of REST APIs for ERPs (like Netsuite) and hassle-free Shopify integration.

2) Shippo


Rating: 4.2/5

Pricing: Install for free; $10/month

With Shippo, you can quickly synchronize your Shopify orders and get the best prices from more than 40 international carriers, such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS.

Key Features

  • Shopify Integration: Easily synchronize order data with Shopify to receive real-time updates.
  • Branded Experience: You can add your own personal touches to emails, packing slips, and pages.
  • Notifications and Tracking: Use notifications and tracking to keep your consumers updated.
  • Automation includes accessing shipping costs, creating labels, importing orders, printing labels in batches, and more.
  • Returns: Make the customer experience simpler by creating return labels quickly.

3) Order Fulfillment Guru

Order Fulfillment Guru

Rating: 5/5

Pricing: Free; paid plans begin at $9.99/month

Order Fulfillment Guru offers a complete solution for managing orders from various warehouses and vendors with ease.

Key Features

  • Automated Order Assignment: Assign orders to different locations, partners, or third-party logistics (3PL) providers automatically by using sophisticated routing rules.
  • Splitting orders is simple and may be done by email, online portals, ShipStation, or even other Shopify stores.
  • Real-Time Syncing: Easily synchronize inventory, orders, and goods in real-time between multiple Shopify stores.
  • Extra Features: Take advantage of automatic invoicing, pre-paid shipping labels, order routing to ShipStation locations, and more.

Additionally, give Appic Softwares some thought if you want to optimize your e-commerce processes and deliver top-notch customer support.


In summary, this thorough book on shipping advice for small businesses has given us useful insight into a variety of shipping-related topics. 

You may increase customer pleasure, expedite shipping, and ultimately succeed in the cutthroat world of e-commerce by putting these suggestions into practice and making the most of the available resources.

Mastering the art of shipping is crucial for the success of your small business in 2024 and beyond. By implementing the latest strategies and best practices and with the support of valuable tools like those offered by “Appic Softwares,” you can optimize your shipping operations, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately increase your bottom line.

Contact us!