eCommerce Shipping Solutions and Best Practices: Your Complete Guide

eCommerce Shipping Solutions and Best Practices: Your Complete Guide

So, you’ve made the decision to set up your online store–congratulations! eCommerce has seen consistent growth in the last decade. It has more than doubled its share of total retail sales. An online store’s ability to provide seamless customer service will become a major advantage as eCommerce grows.

You can start your online business, whether you are an established company looking to expand or a new startup.

Shipping might be seen as an optional part of eCommerce, where both consumers and businesses look to one another to pay the bills. This shouldn’t be the case and it doesn’t have.

Shipping is your business’s opportunity to–literally–deliver the final act of an amazing customer experience.

You’ve put in all the effort to create or feature a great product, drive people towards your site, offer a great shopping experience, and get them to the checkout page. Why stop there?

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Now you have the chance to impress them with a shipping experience that is both efficient and surprising at once. This is customer service at its best. This article will go into more detail about the dynamics involved. It is important to start with the right mindset about the importance of shipping in your overall brand experience.

How to Ship Products To Your Customers

This article will teach you everything you need to setup shipping for your online shop. Follow these seven steps:

  1. Define your Shipping Guidelines
  2. Purchase a Shipping Software Solution
  3. Learn Shipping Options and Calculate Shipping Prices
  4. Select the right packaging
  5. Explore Printer Options
  6. Consider Shipping Insurance
  7. Handle Post Purchase Communications

01. Define your shipping guidelines

You should establish clear shipping guidelines to ensure that your company is ready for any customer queries or questions. It is important to have a central location where customers can access this information on your website, as shipping cost and speed can both be key factors in deciding whether they shop with you.

What are your guidelines? You want the best guidelines for your customers and business.

Shipping Products Charging or not Charging

There are three main approaches to charging shipping fees.

No Shipping Charge

The runaway success of Amazon Prime has made it a standard expectation for eCommerce customers. This can be difficult for businesses. You can offer free shipping by incorporating the shipping cost into your product’s price. This requires you to calculate the shipping cost per order and adjust your pricing accordingly.

Free shipping is a great incentive to shoppers to purchase more expensive items. You may also see an increase in orders if you offer it. However, shipping costs could be higher if the item is smaller and less expensive.

If you don’t have the ability to offer free shipping to your customers, you might consider setting a minimum order threshold. For example, $25 is enough to get free shipping.

You’re not only paying shipping costs, but you are also helping to increase your average order value. Incentives such as the inclusion of a featured item in an order can be offered. This will allow the entire order to qualify for free shipping. (Hint: If you have excess stock, this is one way that you can help move it).

You can also use free shipping as an incentive or part of a rewards program. There are many options: you can give customers occasional codes to get free shipping, offer them as seasonal promotions or as part of a bounce back after they make an initial purchase.

Although there are some initial costs associated with maintaining a policy that offers free shipping, consumers have grown to expect it, or at least are strongly incentivized. 48% shoppers will add additional items to their carts if they are eligible for free shipping.

Flat Rate

This is the place where you would have a single fixed rate to pay shipping costs for orders below a certain weight. Customers may be relieved to see a flat rate, rather than waiting until the checkout process to determine a variable rate.

Variable Shipping Prices

These are the rates that the carrier charges at the time. Variables include dimensions, weight, destination and timing. This is how fast the item will be needed.

Online businesses often advertise flat-rate or free shipping upfront. However, variable shipping will not be visible until the customer has completed the checkout and entered their zip code. At that point, the system will calculate shipping cost based on these variables.

To What Country Will You Ship?

Do you plan to ship only within the United States? Are you planning to ship internationally? What about military bases? These details should be communicated clearly on your website so your customers can make informed decisions.

Shipping Timing

Different customers have different needs. To help them make informed decisions, list all the services that you offer.

  • 2-Day Shipping
  • Next-Day Shipping
  • Same-day Delivery
  • Express Delivery
  • Priority Mail
  • Media Mail
  • Plus!

Carrier Selection

Your shipping program should also include deciding which carriers you will work with. There are many carriers available worldwide, making it difficult to make a decision. This is why a shipping solution like Shippo’s can be so helpful.

The United States Post Office is a cost-effective and efficient solution for small businesses. It’s also a popular choice for startups. You should think about it: USPS letter carriers deliver to all addresses in the country, seven days a week, rain or shine.

These routes are already covered by USPS, so your customers will be served quickly no matter where they may live. You can easily schedule pickups once you have packed your items and printed labels. This will save you time and potentially lower your costs. USPS delivers on Saturdays for no additional charge, while private carriers may charge fees. It is a good choice for small and lightweight packages that are being sent to residential addresses. You can use an online shipping calculator to get instant estimates.

Other carriers, such as UPS or FedEx, also offer their expertise and advantages. UPS is a popular choice for shipping heavy items and has excellent ground service. FedEx is well-known for its excellent tracking capabilities and can ship heavier items quickly to domestic and international destinations.

For those who need to ship locally or further away, regional carriers like OnTrac and Lone Star Undernight are viable options.

02. Get a Shipping Software Solution

Now that you have established your shipping guidelines, it is time to set your shipping process. This will be made much easier by using a shipping solution. The right program will save you time and money. It will also make it easier to ship faster.

A shipping software solution like Shippo will help you streamline and automate many shipping-related tasks, as well as manage communications with various customer touchpoints.

Businesses who want to start immediately can link the Shippo app with their Wix online store via the App Market. Open an account, fill in basic information, create your first shipping label , and sync your orders. Shippo’s software allows you to automate many tasks and tailor your requirements as your business grows.

Standardization makes it simple for businesses to:

  • Compare rates for different carriers
  • Get timing estimates
  • Packing slips and labels
  • Schedule pickups
  • Track your status on-demand
  • Notify customers with shipment updates
  • Tracking and scan-based labels allow for speedy returns
  • More

Shipping is an integral part of customer experience, as we mentioned at the beginning of this article. Clear and precise communication at all stages of the shopping process is one of the best ways to build and maintain great customer relationships.

03. Learn about shipping options and calculate shipping costs

A shipping software solution can simplify the selection process. Here are some options you should keep in mind.

USPS First Class

This is a good option for packages less than 13 ounces. Note:Maximum dimensions apply.

  • 22 inches x 18 inches x 15 inches

Priority Mail

This is the next choice for packages that weigh more than a pound. There are two types of packages:

  • Priority mail Express delivers seven days a week.
  • Priority Mail delivers within 1-3 days for domestic delivery and offers a flat rate option.

USPS Cubic Pricing

You may qualify for USPS Cubic Pricing if the package is of small or moderate size and weighs less than 20 pounds. Each side must not exceed 18 inches.

Cubic Pricing considers the package’s size and distance traveled, rather than its weight. Even if your package weighs in excess of 90%, it could still qualify for Cubic Pricing.

What’s the catch? The catch? You can take advantage of these great rates as a Shippo user without having to ship a large volume.

Flat Rate Shipping

Flat rate shipping is an option that many carriers offer. It happens to be the most popular service offered by USPS. You will also use Priority Mail’s Priority Mail service when you use this service via USPS. This is why the box name is USPS Priority Mail. These shipping boxes are available for free or at a nominal charge. They can also be ordered from USPS. You only pay one flat rate if your items fit into the shipping box. This covers weights up to 70 lbs and shipping to any US state within three days. Done. If your package is heavier than 20 pounds, it’s the most economical shipping option.

UPSFedEx have their own versions of the flat-rate service. Each service has drop-off and pick up options. There are also a few other differences:

FedEx One-Rate provides branded packaging, including envelopes and extra-large tubes, at no charge. Envelopes are limited to 50 pounds and boxes limit to 10 pounds. Delivery takes 1-3 days, and prices vary depending on the size of the package.

You can use your own packaging with the UPS Easy Rate service. They handle this by asking the sender to measure their packages and calculate the cubic inches. Then, they classify them by:

  • Extra small: 1-100
  • Small: 101-250
  • Medium: 251-650
  • Large: 651-1,050
  • Extra Large: 1,051-1,728

The maximum weight permitted is 50 pounds. Packages can be sent to all 50 US states. The transit time can vary depending on the service, weight, and size.

04. Select the right packaging

Packaging is more than the practical aspects of getting customers’ orders to their destination. Your shipping packaging should be considered an extension of your brand. First, make sure you choose the right packaging to ensure that your items arrive at their destination safely and securely.

58% said that damaged packages would impact their purchasing decision. A damaged package can cause disappointment and frustration, especially if someone is looking forward to it. This can also affect the experience of unboxing, which is for some a spiritual experience that is the subject of many YouTube videos.

When choosing packaging for your products, consider how it will best fit them. Packaging that is able to withstand long distances and protect delicate items will be necessary if you are selling fragile or delicate products. You should also consider the packaging options that can help you save on shipping costs.

Although some people may be tempted to save space and money by packing their items in the smallest possible packaging, it is important to consider the fragility of your items first. If your items don’t have fragile contents, padded envelopes or poly mailers are a better option than cardboard boxes.

Protection Starting Within

There is almost nothing worse than receiving a highly anticipated order only to find the contents are damaged. Although you should try to keep your packages light, it will cost you more long-term in time, returns and replacements. You should tailor the protective packaging to each item. Tissue and peanuts are fine if you sell light, sturdy items. Consider materials like:

  • Double-walled boxes
  • Airbags
  • Foam Spacers
  • Corrugated Inserts
  • Spray foam

These reinforcements will prevent items from moving inside the box and provide a safer delivery experience.

Using Free Carrier Packaging

You can use branded carrier packaging if you are unsure about packaging, or need it urgently. Many top carriers, including USPS and FedEx Express, offer free shipping supplies. You can usually pick up packing materials at the carrier location or order them.


Packaging should be considered an extension of your brand’s story and a key part of the customer experience. Get inspired by other businesses’ eCommerce packaging designs and create custom-designed boxes and envelopes that meet your needs. This will help you to build your brand’s reputation and exceed customer expectations. One thing unites all classic brands: a strong outward identity.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Apple, Coca-Cola or McDonald’s. The logos, type treatment or packaging evoke certain emotions that transcend transactional–these brands have made emotional connections with customers.

Customers can also build deeper relationships with you by providing a personalized and branded experience. Over time, you want to create similar feelings of anticipation and excitement when customers receive one of your packages.

These are some packaging ideas that you might like to look at:

Custom Packages: Your brand’s unique touch, such as a logo or distinctive shape, or a clever or unusual way to open the package, will make a lasting impression.

Custom stickers or tapes or messaging: Branded labels, stickers with colorful accents or brand messaging can add style and charm to your packaging. This is a great way to make things more interesting for holidays and other retail occasions.

Wrapping materials Once you have decided in which direction to take your external packaging, now it’s time for what’s inside. You can continue your brand experience with the unboxing and wrapping of your special items by using tissue that matches your brand’s color scheme, craft papers tied with ribbon or special seals with your logo.

Personal touch: Showing your appreciation to your customers by taking a personal approach when packing and preparing their packages will make a big difference in how they feel. A thoughtful way to express appreciation is to include a handwritten note. A small token of appreciation or gift can be added for repeat customers.

05. Check out the Printer Options

Three main categories are common for printers that print labels and shipping labels for eCommerce. You should consider cost and maintenance depending on your shipping volume.

Printer Categories include:

  • Inkjet printers are affordable for printing on paper and label sheets.
  • Inkjet printers don’t offer as many printing options as laser printers. However, they have significant quality improvements. You will pay more for the printer and toner/ink refills, but the print quality is significantly better.
  • Thermal printers can print directly on shipping labels that are printed on rolls. Thermal printers are the best option for shipping larger volumes. They print quickly, can print large quantities of labels at once, don’t need toner refills and take up very little space.

06. Shipping Insurance is a good idea

You have put in a lot of effort and time into the products that you sell and have found creative ways to reduce shipping costs while still building your brand.

You can help make sure everything goes smoothly by considering another aspect of the process, in case things go wrong. Shipping insurance is a great option for higher-value items. You should consider that one lost or damaged item can cost you a lot of money. The cost of shipping a replacement item and a refund may be required.

FedEx and UPS automatically insure domestic shipments up to $100 against loss or damage. USPS offers $100 coverage for some expedited services, such as Priority Mail Express International and Priority Mail Express Express International.

You should consider adding coverage to your shipment if it exceeds $100. This can be done by the carrier or third-party insurer. This can be done easily through Shippo while you are processing your shipments.


07. Handle Post-Purchase Communications

After your packages are wrapped carefully, sent and shipped, you can still connect with your customers on a personal level to ensure that you provide top customer service.

You can use the following tools to keep track of your customers after they have purchased from an online store that you have integrated with Shippo:

  • Email status updates: Keep customers informed. Let your customers know how important you consider the transaction.
  • Track packages Find out where things are.
  • Confirm delivery: Verify that your packages arrived safe and sound.
  • Automatic returns:Include an image-based return label so that you only have to pay for what it uses.


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