Setting up and managing an Etsy store is a colossal amount of work on its own. Now add setting up shipping and your head just might keep on spinning. It’s important to optimize your Etsy shipping so your store doesn’t waste or lose money.
So instead of giving up and settling for customers asking you where their order is and paying for full-price shipping labels, our team has decided to help you master your Etsy shipping with four simple tricks.
Here’s how to become the master of your Etsy shipping strategy.
1. Make Sure Your Etsy Shipping is Set Up Correctly
Well, that seems like a no-brainer. But when you’re new to the ecommerce world there’s a lot that goes into shipping — even when you’re selling on Etsy.
When you’re setting up a new product, or SKU, you’ll want to make sure that your shipping rates are calculated for you. This will make shipping costs more accurate and less stressful, trust us. You’ll also want to make sure you include the correct zip code from where you’re shipping and how long it will take you to ship once an item has been ordered. This is important to list as accurate as possible.
Why? If you list your processing time within a short amount of time that you cannot fulfill, you’ll run into customers getting frustrated and who may never come back. It’s best to follow the ‘underpromise, overdeliver’ method here.
You’ll also want to pick your shipping services correctly. When you use Etsy shipping, you can only ship through USPS (compared to shipping with FedEx or UPS). Keep in mind that Etsy is now prioritizing listings that have free shipping — it’s not a must, but it is definitely something to think about as a store owner. You can also add a handling fee if necessary.
One of the most important parts of setting up your Etsy shipping is going to be at the very bottom: your item weight and size. This is important not only because it can determine the size box that’s right for your product, but it will also affect buyers' postage costs during the checkout process.
2. Optimize Your Etsy Shipping Costs
You’ve officially got all your shipping set up, but now it’s time to optimize. That includes shipping labels. When it comes to shipping on Etsy, you’ll almost always want to get the discounted shipping label online that Etsy provides to you. If you choose to purchase a label in-store at USPS, it will almost certainly cost more money.
Don’t stress, though. Since you chose calculated shipping, Etsy should do all the hard math for you. If you ever decide to change your Etsy shipping settings you can visit the settings page under listings.
But back to the point: Etsy makes creating a shipping label easy. When you’re setting up your products you’ll get a preview of your shipping costs. A small box will pop up, like the one below, and show you how much you’re saving compared to buying a label at the store counter. For everything you need to know on Etsy shipping labels, check out this resource.
3. Keep your customers informed
It’s important to stay transparent with your customers around the shipment of your products. In the age of what many ecommerce store owners call the “Amazon Effect,” more and more consumers are expecting their items to arrive faster than businesses can even process their orders.
But there’s actually a somewhat simple solution: keeping your customers informed on your shipping policies and shipping updates.
One easy way to do all this? Email updates. They’re a lifesaver when it comes to giving your customers updates on their products — especially because they can be automated. There are two emails that you can send through the Etsy platform that almost every customer will expect: order confirmation and order shipment. These are incredibly important to optimize. So how do you do that?
In your order confirmation email you send out to customers, make sure it includes your processing and shipping times. That simply means that you should explicitly state how long it will take. Something like the below statement in your order confirmation email will work:
Please keep in mind it takes 1-2 business days to process your order before shipment. You order should ship in 2-4 business days after processing.
This will put your customer’s minds at ease about when their items will ship. Plus, it will keep your inbox free of customer emails wondering when they’ll receive their order.
4. Leverage custom packaging
Your Etsy shipping process is set up, ready to go and now you need to actually ship your products. If you want to get the most out of your shipping process then it’s worth it to consider custom packaging. You’ll want your customer’s first physical interaction with your brand to be a good one. Remember, first impressions are important.
Don’t just listen to us, though. A study from DotCom Distribution showed that premium packaging is more likely to influence shoppers to make repeat purchases.
Except premium packaging can be really simple. Premium packaging can be a simple logo on a box or it can be as detailed as edge-to-edge design. Either way, it’ll take your Etsy shipping to the next level.
Do you use Shopify, too? Check out our guide to setting up your Shopify shipping here.
Ready to take your Etsy store to the next level with custom boxes? Check out our custom boxes here.