How A 3PL Provider Helps SMBs With Inflation
It’s not breaking news that everyone is feeling the impact of inflation. Whether it’s the cost of doing business or the cost of buying groceries, prices are rising. In fact, 2021 had the highest inflation rate increase (4.7% overall) in the past twenty years. On top of that, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts inflation will double by the end of 2022.1
For small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), rising costs present unique challenges. But fortunately, you have options. And Unishippers, an industry-leading third party logistics (3PL) provider, is here to help you understand and prepare for the impacts of inflation. This will protect your bottom line and help you save on shipping and keep your products moving (aka keep customers happy).
What does inflation mean for SMBs?
During times of inflation, very few businesses, individuals or commodities are exempt. That means SMBs face rising costs for products, services, workers, rent and more (including shipping rates).
As the price of goods and services rises over time, your purchasing power will gradually decrease. Due to limited resources and buying power, SMBs will be affected disproportionately by inflation. However, there are ways SMBs can position themselves for success by streamlining processes across their entire operation. This includes strategic ways to save on shipping.
How can SMBs prepare for inflation?
Reexamine your pricing
Operating an SMB during times of inflation is costly. That’s why many businesses resort to price increases. And while this is discouraging to customers, the reality is that inflation reduces your profit margins through increased costs for supplies and services. If everyone along the supply chain begins to charge more for services and products, it may be time to re-examine your pricing and compare it to competitors.
Prioritize customer loyalty
Attracting a new customer can cost five times as much as it does to keep an existing one. Additionally, a retention growth of 5% can increase profits from 25-95%.2 While attracting a steady stream of new customers is paramount to almost all businesses, periods of inflation mark a great time to analyze your customer retention strategy and make adjustments as necessary. Understanding what keeps your customers coming back and leveraging that knowledge is your first step.
Discover ways to save on shipping
Taking steps to lower your shipping rates will help you survive times of inflation. Consider this an opportunity to minimize your overhead and tweak your business model for the future. That includes your shipping operations. Here are three tips:
- Don’t settle for base rates. Working with a 3PL company can give you the leverage needed to negotiate competitive rates with your carriers.
- Choose the right shipping services. Having access to multiple freight and UPS® shipping options can ensure you use the right services for every delivery.
- Avoid unnecessary shipping fees. Understanding small package and freight shipping fees can help you avoid pesky, unexpected costs.
What can a 3PL company do to help?
Working with an industry-leading 3PL provider like Unishippers can help you cut costs, streamline efficiencies and reduce your overhead. We use our decades of experience and expertise to provide shipping solutions that are normally only afforded to larger companies.
In particular, we leverage our vast network of freight carriers and negotiate top rates for customers. Unishippers is also part of the largest non-retail Authorized Reseller of UPS shipping services, making competitive rates a reality for SMBs. And customers gain access to our innovative technology, including our transportation management system, to manage processes and all shipping logistics.
In total, services like these provide strategic shipping solutions that allow you to save on shipping and focus on what you do best — growing your business.
Ready to partner with a 3PL provider that can help you battle inflation?
While inflation poses several challenges for SMB shippers, working with a dependable 3PL company like Unishippers can ease rising costs and position you for success by helping you save on shipping.
Ready to take a bite out of inflation? Reach out to Unishippers today to learn how we can help you navigate inflation, get top shipping rates and create a shipping strategy designed to alleviate all of your shipping challenges!
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022). 12-Month Percentage Change, Consumer Price Index, Selected Categories.
2 Outbound Engine (2021). Customer Retention Marketing vs. Customer Acquisition Marketing.