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All Things Shipping | October 12, 2021

Cost-Effective Ways E-Commerce Businesses Are Shipping Clothes

As Halloween approaches many people are ordering clothes specifically to fit their costumes. But for many e-commerce merchants, shipping clothes is a year round business. Because of this, finding the most cost effective ways to ship clothes is essential.

In 2020, e-commerce revenue generated by the sale of fashion apparel, footwear, and accessories reached approximately $110.6 billion. That number is only expected to grow up to 153.6 billion by 2024. 

In order to get a bigger piece of the pie, e-commerce merchants who ship clothes will need to find ways to cut costs without sacrificing the quality of their product. 

Thankfully, there are steps fashion-focused brands can take to ship their products in a more cost-effective way.  

Packaging Tips To Save Money On Shipping Clothing

There are few ways to cut down on shipping costs before your clothes leave their respective facility or place of origin, and it starts with the packaging. A few tips to help save you some money when packaging clothing:

  1. Ship clothes inside of the smallest package possible. No need for your box/envelope to take up unnecessary space. 
  2. Fold clothes tightly and carefully before packing them.
  3. Unless you’re shipping sensitive items, avoid extra cushioning.
  4. Try to ship items together when applicable. 
  5. Try to leverage volume discounts if and when you’re using a single carrier.
  6. Cut down on printed materials like receipts and return labels and instead email them.
  7. Try to use poly mailers when applicable.

Carriers primarily look at the weight and size of your parcel, so if there is a way to limit some of these aspects, you should consider doing so.

Our Shippo Online Selling Handbook discusses how to pick packaging that saves you money in greater detail. 

Choosing Which Carrier Ships Your Clothes

The right carrier to ship clothes for your e-commerce business may change depending on what kind of clothes you’re shipping. 

For example, let’s say you’re sending a single t-shirt (which weighs less than a pound) and you’re going to deliver it inside of a soft pack envelope, the best option in terms of cost will most likely be shipping with USPS.

But, if you’re looking to ship multiple items to the same location (which means your package will weigh more), it might be more beneficial to look at other carriers. 

It may also be more cost-effective to look at other services like USPS’s Flat Rate, UPS’s Simple Rate, or FedEx’s One Rate. These services allow you to ship heavier items to any US location at a fixed price. 

Another factor to consider is how valuable volume discounts are from each carrier for your business. The more you ship with an individual carrier, the more likely you are to get a volume discount from them.

The other factor to take into consideration is how fast you want your clothing shipped to its destination. Certain carriers may be able to give a better price on faster shipping than others in certain scenarios. 

In truth, there isn’t necessarily one carrier that is best for shipping your products every time. The most cost-effective method for shipping will involve you having a good carrier-\ mix which not only includes that of the major three national carriers, but also regional carriers, or even international ones where it makes sense. 

Comparing Rates When Shipping Clothes

As mentioned before, the cheapest way to ship clothes can differ depending on the circumstances. But, there is a way to compare rates, create shipping labels, and track orders all in one place.

With Shippo you get access to 85+ carriers with discounted labels available from USPS, UPS, and more. You can even connect Shippo to your e-commerce platform so that cost-effective shipping is integrated seamlessly with your day-to-day fulfillment workflow. 

Create an account with Shippo for free and start comparing rates for your next shipment of clothes.

Hasan Nabulsi is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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