An Introduction to eCommerce Shipping

Post by
Alex Erdekian
An Introduction to eCommerce Shipping

A thoughtful, strategic shipping strategy is critical to the success of any e-commerce venture. The right shipping approach ensures customers promptly receive orders intact and with correct parts for a fair, reasonable price, but it requires a savvy, intentional plan. Let’s take a look at a few tactics to ship online better, faster, and cheaper.

Cost Factors

Delivering products to customers can be a great expense, but you have more control over it than you would think if you analyze and break down what makes up the price. A few factors that affect the cost of shipping include:

Weight and Volume:

E-commerce shipping costs are extremely contingent on two product metrics, weight and volume. You must know your products' weights and volumes. It's precious information when it comes to choosing your e-commerce shipping partner, negotiating with them, and calculating your shipping fees.

You also should take control over these measurements. By keeping your packages as lightweight and slender as possible, you and your customers both pay less.


Shipping location is the third variable, in addition to weight in volume, in shipping costs. In general further a package must travel, the more costly the shipping. More precisely though, shipping zones, which are geographic regions that comprise clusters of zip codes, determine shipping costs.

Packaging Quality & Style

Who doesn't like receiving a good-looking package? Packaging is a major tenet of the e-commerce customer experience. First and foremost, packages must survive transport—no one wants to receive a damaged box.

Excel at packaging and impress your customers. Offer them the best unpacking experience by setting up the right packaging strategy for your business. Give them reasons to share the unboxing experience on social media. Give your business a powerful marketing move.

You can order free blank packages from a carrier, use poly mailers, or go for branded packaging.

Although branded packaging can be expensive for you, it may be part of your marketing strategy. Custom boxes, tape, and stickers can give you a hand in increasing your repeat customer rate. You can order labels from an online service, and print them with any printer or a label printer.

What Shipping Fees to Charge Your Customer

Free E-Commerce Shipping:

Some customers abandon the cart if you offer no free shipping.

Nevertheless, if you offer it, you have to pay for it. These are the ways you have to work around the burden of paying for e-commerce shipping.

  • Include the shipping costs in the price of your products.
  • Offer free shipping only to online orders over a certain amount.
  • Reward your best customers—those who order higher amounts or more frequently—with free shipping.

Flat-Fee E-Commerce Shipping:

A flat fee must be well-balanced. In other words, you don't want to charge your customers absurd shipping costs. For example, it doesn't make sense for a customer who orders a small item to pay high shipping costs. In the same vein, a customer who orders a large item should not pay a small shipping price. In short, if you sell a range of products with distinct weights and volumes, flat-fee shipping is not for you. In fact, it could cause a tremendous impact on your profit margins.

Local Delivery Fees

What if you're new to your business or your business is innately local? There's an e-commerce shipping solution specially tailored to your needs—local delivery. With local delivery, you define an area around your dispatching location. Later, your e-commerce store checks whether each order's delivery address falls within that area. If so, you may offer a local delivery fee to the customer at checkout. And since it's local and costs you little, you can offer it either for free or over a certain amount. You choose. Local delivery is a low-cost e-commerce shipping method and a great strategy to get more local customers whether your business is local or not.

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