Shipping in the E-Commerce World

20 August 2019 2522

Let’s face it, a seamless shipping experience is essential to the success of any E-Commerce business.


What could be a small business decision in the growing stages, could ultimately affect the overall shopping experience for your customers and the success and growth of your digital store. Deciding on the most effective shipping methods for your business could be a contributing factor to your lasting success, or failure.

It can be hard to keep up with shipping carriers constantly increasing their rates and ever evolving delivery services, but when it comes to running an e-commerce store, whether you are still figuring it out or managing to get into the swing of things, it pays to do your research to get the most valuable options for your customers and your business.


Here’s what you need to know about shipping in the eCommerce world in 2019.


Tip #1 - Get To Know Your Inventory

Determining the best shipping methods for your business can be made easier if you know your inventory inside and out. It’s also a sure-fire way to help you build trust and expertise amongst your team. If you are all over your products with in-depth detail, transferring that knowledge to your customer care team is bound to spark sales and retain staff. 


Keep your inventory list updated with valuable information that includes: 

  • Package size

  • Product weight 

  • Shipping weight 

  • Origin country

  • Any shipping restrictions 


Looking at the products you are selling and understanding their shipping requirements is going to save you time and money and manage your packaging waste. 


Tip #2 - Know Your Shipping Options

As consumers, we are constantly seeking value for money and efficient service. As a business owner, the way you choose to ship your products will determine the level of satisfaction your customers will receive. According to 2017 survey by Internet Retailer and Bizrate Insights, nearly 90 percent of online shoppers say they are willing to wait longer for delivery of an order in exchange for free shipping. 


Let’s look at the most common shipping options: 

  • Drop – Shipping 

Drop-Shipping is an order fulfillment method that does not require a business to keep their products in stock. According to the shipping experts from Secure Ship, “drop shipping is the easiest way to manage your inventory and shipping needs with it all taken care of by the manufacturer, another retailer or a wholesaler.” Once a sale is made, the supplier ships the product directly to the customer.  

  • Free Shipping

A free shipping option is undoubtable a perk for any customer. Offering a free shipping option will aid in reducing shopping cart abandonment and adds an incentive to increase basket size.


Setting your prices at an increase can help to cover your shipping or choosing to cover the full cost of shipping for all qualifying orders are your options but you will need to test your margins to determine what works best for your business.


According to the team from Tierra Alma, an eCommerce fashion store, “by adding a minimum spend to qualify for free shipping, you can increase Average Order Value (AOV) which will offset your shipping costs, though you’re still going to pay for it out of your margins. However small changes like this can increase your conversion rates with the psychological pull of the word ‘free’ a valuable tool for all ecommerce stores.”

  • Flat-Rate Shipping

The consumer will need to pay a shipping fee but it's a fixed amount for each order. Make this clear in your FAQ’s and once a customer has understood this cost, you will need to ensure your service in impeccable for repeat business. Flat-rate shipping works best when your business is running at a low cost across the board.

  • Real – Cost Shipping

Shipping is based on size, weight, and destination. It’s great for transparency and accuracy and allows your customers to pay for their desired service, but live pricing, calculations and delivery windows can deter shoppers and could affect their return visit to your store.


This works great for an auction style site where you can be shipping all sorts of weights.

  • Same Day Delivery

This is a great approach to grab consumers for a limited offer for your e-commerce business once you have established the regular shipping methods. For a small business targeting local customers, you could work this into more of your standout sales day – Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.


Providing the most efficient service to our customers with minimal cost can be tricky to perfect but whichever service you decide on, make sure you are transparent with the costs. According to Oberlo, unexpected extra cost is the number one reason shoppers abandon carts.


However, Search It Local’s conversion optimisation expert, Alexander Porter, believes that you don’t need to remove additional costs, which could include tracking, insurance or shipping, but simply make them known upfront. He says “make sure you make it clear in the buying process that there will be an additional cost. Consumers prefer simplicity, so use bold font and clear language to explain your steps and minimize the chances of people bouncing from your site because you sprung a surprise on them.” 

Tip #3 - Size Up Your Packaging 

Packaging is a HUGE factor in the e-commerce business. What once was a battle with who packed it better in an elaborate push to wow the customer with excessive packaging is now a game of who used the least amount of packaging and in the most environmentally considerate way.


“There’s a lot of pressure to come up with solutions that eliminate a box,” said Ken Chrisman of Sealed Air Corp. , which designs packaging materials for retailers, manufacturers and logistics firms.


Excessive packaging is a thing of the past and choosing the correctly sized packaging for your product is probably the most important point to make here. Amazon also continues to consider ways to reduce packaging as explained in an article by The Wall Street Journal.  The E-Commerce giants continue to ship each order in one correctly sized package instead of multiple boxes, responding to rising shipping costs and consumers’ concern about the environmental impact.


When you are trialling your options, it’s good to note that almost all carriers offer free packaging with their services so keep this in mind when you are looking at the service that is best for you. With all this in mind, finding the best shipping option for tor your business can take time and a lot of trial and error which can be time consuming and complex. 


Author Bio:

Jennifer Gibson is a passionate freelance writer based in Sydney. She is a university student and has a major in Philosophy. Jennifer loves to travel. She goes to several tourist destinations whenever she’s free. She is also passionate about animals. 


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