How to reduce the shipping costs of your online shop - The best tips for small businesses!

Martin Jezy10 November 20236 min

Shipping expenses can eat up a big chunk of an online store's budget, impacting profits. But there are smart ways to reduce those costs without compromising service.

Our experts have rounded up the best advice to help you save on shipping in your online business!

  1. Find Affordable Shipping Services
  2. Use Flat Rates for Packages
  3. Offer Free Shipping
  4. Use Pickup Locations
  5. Go Green with Packaging
  6. Pack Smarter
  7. Try Self-Shipping Services
  8. Make Shipping Inside Your Business Easier
  9. Cut Down on Returns
  10. Get Help with Shipping

1. Find Affordable Shipping Services

It might sound obvious, but it's important. Check out different shipping companies and get lots of quotes. If you do a lot of shipping, you can often talk them into giving you a better deal. Ask your current shipper if they can give you a better price too.

  • And don't forget, if your store is busy in a certain area, see if there's a local shipping company there. They might have cheaper rates because they don't have to travel as far.

2. Use Flat Rates

Some shipping companies offer flat rates. That means you pay a set price for each package, no matter how big or heavy. Depending on what and how much you're shipping, this could be cheaper than the usual rates.

And with flat rates, it's easier to figure out how much you'll spend on shipping.

3. Try To Offer Free Shipping

A lot of online stores give free shipping for orders over a certain amount. This can work really well, making customers buy more to get the free shipping. Just make sure you're still making enough money.

  • Remember, though, don't offer free shipping for expensive options like super fast or international shipping. Stick to regular shipping if you can. That way, you won't lose too much money.

4. Use Pickup Locations

You can save money by sending lots of packages to one place where customers can pick them up.

This avoids lots of individual trips to homes, which can be expensive. These pickup spots usually have good deals too.

5. Embrace Sustainable Packaging Materials

The more packages your e-commerce shop sends, the more packaging material you use. Consider looking for recycled materials for padding, which is often cheaper than new materials or plastics.

Numerous providers offer environmentally-friendly filling materials made from inexpensive recycled paper instead of new material. At Quivo, we exclusively use sustainable materials for padding in our fulfilment centres, and it works!

6. Pack Smarter

When you send stuff, it's all about size and weight. Lighter packages and saving even a little weight can cut costs. Don't use too much packaging, and think about what you really need to keep the stuff safe.

Maybe you can use lighter materials or smaller boxes to make things weigh less and take up less space.

7. Use Self-Shipping Services

Various self-shipping offerings are provided by package couriers, logistics companies, and fulfillment providers. These programs or web apps allow you to create, print, and attach shipping labels to packages yourself for direct shipment. This can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional shipping services, as you're taking some of the work off their hands.

For example, our free "Send it Yourself" in the Quivo Connector. With this service, you can organize your orders, choose from various shipping providers and options, print labels, and send your packages at our favourable shipping rates. We currently offer this service in Austria, Germany and France.

This can significantly save costs!

8. Streamline Internal Shipping Processes

Examine each step of your shipping process:

  • From order placement,
  • to storage,
  • inventory management,
  • packaging,
  • staff allocation,
  • invoicing,
  • to actual shipping.

Ask yourself:

  • What could run better?
  • Is there a bottleneck?
  • What incurs the most costs or effort?
  • Is anything still manual that could be automated?
  • Where do errors regularly occur?

A seamless ordering process becomes increasingly crucial as the number of daily shipments grows. And, as the saying goes, time is money:

Optimize your processes, make minor adjustments, and automate manual steps to ship as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible!

  • Additionally, listen to your customers' feedback and take it seriously. They clearly tell you what works well and what doesn't. All of these aspects are an ongoing challenge in the e-commerce landscape!

9. Cut Down on Returns

Lots of things being sent back costs more because of the work it takes. If you're okay with customers sending things back, it might cost even more. It's good to offer free returns if you can.

Look at what people return the most and think about if you should still sell those things. Tell customers the rules for sending stuff back clearly on your website. This stops misunderstandings and extra costs.

  • And if you show really good pictures and explain stuff well, fewer people will send things back.

10. Consider Outsourcing Your Logistics

Maybe you're drowning in packages and your place is full, and your workers can't keep up…

Perhaps it's time to outsource your logistics to a fulfilment provider like Quivo. Even if your parcel situation doesn't seem dire, it might still be worthwhile to have a professional logistics provider handle your operations. They take care of inventory, packaging, and the entire shipping process—from order reception to your customers' doorstep.

This largely eliminates the bottleneck of in-house parcel shipping, allowing you to focus on selling and growing your online shop.


To Sum Up:

There are many ways for online store owners to spend less on shipping without disappointing customers.

  • Choose the right shipping rates,
  • optimize your packaging,
  • utilize parcel shops,
  • offer free shipping, and
  • automate your processes.
  • Utilizing self-shipping solutions or logistics services from fulfilment providers can significantly reduce your effort and costs, maximizing your profits!


Do you have more questions? Feel free to contact us without any obligation.


Page: Onlineshop Versand: Tips & tricks for a satisfied clientele

Page: Prohibition Partners - The European and US CBD Repor

Page: Optimise shipping costs

Page: Prevent shopping cart abandonment


Logsta / Quivo © 2023