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Ecommerce Shipping Basics for Online Sellers

8 min read

The ecommerce boom has led many established retailers to shift their resources online, and new businesses are making their debut in ecommerce. The increased volume of ecommerce traffic has also led to increased customer demands and expectations, with shipping being a major one.

Nowadays, when a customer shops online, they expect convenience, ease of access, and timely ecommerce shipping. Businesses that don’t offer fast, easy, and affordable shipping often struggle in the sea of competitors.

A lot goes into creating an effective and affordable ecommerce shipping strategy to satisfy customer demand. That is precisely why we have compiled a brief guide to help businesses navigate their ecommerce shipping needs.

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Should You Use Ecommerce Shipping Software?

In the early days of an online business, shipping may not be much of a concern as there are only a few orders.

However, increased traffic will make it difficult for owners or employees to continue to fulfill orders themselves. Thus, it is essential to invest in a shipping solution to ensure that customers continue to receive their orders in a timely manner.

This is where ecommerce shipping software can be incredibly beneficial.

Ecommerce shipping software makes the shipping process more streamlined and cost-effective.

Before going further, it is essential to note that shipping software differs from fulfillment software. Fulfillment software and services are more robust and designed to help a business throughout order processing. This includes managing inventory, packing, handling returns, and shipping.

Ecommerce shipping software, on the other hand, is designed to assist purely around the shipping process, including:

Ecommerce shipping software can be an excellent way for blossoming online stores to adapt to increasing rates of traffic and orders.

Types of Ecommerce Shipping

The reality is that there is no one correct strategy for ecommerce shipping, as it depends on the particular business and its traffic, margins, product, and more. There are various ecommerce shipping options, and it really comes down to the fastest and most cost-effective option.

A few of the shipping models include the following.

2-day shipping

Amazon Prime has rocketed the appeal of two-day shipping. In fact, it has essentially become an expectation of customers and an industry standard in many ways.

Same-day delivery

Same-day delivery can be appealing, but it may be a difficult option for many online businesses in their early days.

This type of shipping typically requires having products strategically placed in various warehouses near more populated areas. This way, products can be rapidly distributed to those who need them.

Overnight shipping

Overnight shipping can be a great way to really stand out to customers in the sea of two-day shipping models. However, it will also be more expensive than many other shipping models.

Ecommerce international shipping

Offering international shipping can be an excellent way for U.S.-based companies to expand their audience or for outside companies to ship into the U.S. However, it will also have some of the highest ecommerce shipping costs, which can cut into margins.

This option may be off the table for those in the early stages of their ecommerce business, but it may be worth considering as traffic increases.

When it gets to this point, it may be a good idea to look into ecommerce shipping companies that offer this option.

Hybrid shipping

Hybrid shipping means that orders will be picked up from the seller and relayed to local sorting facilities or carriers to be then distributed to the customer. While this can effectively cut down on shipping costs, it often means it will take longer to get to the customer.

Some examples of hybrid shipping providers include UPS SurePost and FedEx SmartPost.

Ecommerce Shipping Costs

The bottom line is that the costs of ecommerce shipping can vary depending on several factors, including the product, size, packaging, shipping model, and more. Here are some of the costs to consider when deciding on a shipping model:

  • Packaging: The costs of packaging the product and preparing it to go out. This can include items like boxes, poly mailers, tape, bubble wrap, and more.
  • Carrier fees: The price for postage and labeling to complete transporting the product to the destination.
  • Processing and fulfillment: The time and labor costs it takes to process each order and prepare it to be shipped.

Note that these are only the bottom-line costs of shipping a single product. Depending on the business model and product type, other costs may be associated.

For instance, a business fulfilling orders themselves will also have to cover various overhead costs, such as:

  • Warehousing/storage
  • Employee wages
  • Business space lease
  • Software
  • Printers and other equipment
  • And more

So, it may make sense for a business to fulfill orders themselves in the early days of their business with a handful of orders.

However, these costs can quickly add up and snowball when they are stuck processing more orders than they can handle.

Remember that the right shipping solution may need to be changed and adapted as a business grows.

Ready to Take Your Leap Into Ecommerce?

For those ready to start their own ecommerce business, Ecwid is here to help! We have created an easy-to-use selling platform that can be integrated across various other platforms and marketplaces. This makes it easy to see your performance across multiple stores from one dashboard.

We want to make your journey into ecommerce as easy as possible. If you want to learn more, you can head over to the Ecwid Academy to learn everything you need to run a successful online store, or click here to get started for free.

Good luck on your ecommerce journey!


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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