Shipping is often the “make or break” point of a consumer’s online purchase. If it’s too costly, not offered via their preferred carrier, or perhaps even inconvenient in some way, a potential customer is more than happy to abandon their shopping cart so they can find what they want elsewhere. As one of the important factors, shipping options has the capacity to influence consumer’s purchase decision. Effective shipping never fails to encourage consumers to complete their checkout. In fact, a comprehensive and convenient shipping option must top your priority list, since it, helps generate more traffic to your site; and encourage them to return to your online store over & over again. This post presents a few ideas on some of the best shipping options available through various eCommerce solutions.
WooCommerce, like many other eCommerce solutions, have basic shipping options available out of the box. But this might not be enough for you, especially as your store grows and you begin fulfilling more orders. There are a wide variety of add-on solutions available that can streamline nearly every portion of the shipping process, including:
- Shipping providers — Plugins from local providers including real-time rate calculation based on estimated weight and customer location.
- Process automation — Extensions that automatically handle processes like label printing, drop shipment notifications, email notifications, and so on.
- Third party sync — Sync with external providers who manage shipments, returns, or customer communication.
Depending on the shipping options you want to offer in your store, and how much time you have available, you can use an add-on to automate portions of the process and free up your time. This gives you more time to grow your inventory or focus on marketing instead of packing boxes or printing labels! Try one, two, or several of the shipping options until you’re satisfied with the results, especially the options you can provide your customers to ease the purchasing decision.
Magento, the industry-leading platform for eCommerce, is one of the more expandable and developer-friendly systems for a whole range of business needs–including setting shipment rates. Magento offers several ways to setup shipping table rates – price vs. destination, weight vs. destination, and number of items vs. destination. Matrix Rate, has become the most downloaded shipping extension on Magento Connect that enables you to define different shipping rates according to destination, shipping method and weight, price or quantity of an item.
There are also several other free and paid extensions available as part of Magento Merchant website that can simplify shipping concerns and shipping detail displays using correct Magento extensions. These extensions are immaculate for ecommerce store functionalities such as calculating the exact prices of shipping from various shippers and courier companies and the approximate number of days of delivery. You can also develop plugins to issue shipping labels of the relevant courier or shipping company and make sure that the final package is ready before handing it over to the shipping company.
Extensions that calculate all the extra charges like insurance options, carbon offsets and other taxes and view the consolidated shipping charge can be used with Magento stores. Also you can ship parcels from multiple locations and sync them so as to reach the destination at the same time, or vice versa using specifically designed extensions.
Shopify is one of the most powerful and popular ecommerce shopping cart solution available for online businesses. However, if you don’t have integrated Shopify shipping solutions in place, you could be spending a lot more time on fulfillment than you really have to. There are a few steps required to set up shipping in your Shopify admin: Enter your shipping origin. Add shipping zones. Add shipping rates or activate carrier-calculated shipping. If you’re using Shopify Shipping to buy and print shipping labels, choose your label printer and default packaging types.
After you’ve set up shipping zones for the destinations where you want to ship your products, you can choose the methods you’ll use to get your customers’ orders to them. Create price-based or weight-based shipping rates for regular postage services. If your store’s on the Advanced Shopify plan or higher, then you can offer carriers. Choose from available fulfillment and drop shipping services that will ship your orders for you.
As you can see from this post, Shipping can make or break your business in multiple ways. Choose the wrong shipping partner and your customers may suffer a poor experience. Don’t plan out your shipping strategy and you could end up unprofitable. Are you using (or considering) any of these solutions? What shipping options do you consider crucial for growing your eCommerce website? If you’ve got the time, chime in below in the comments section and let us know your thoughts on all things shipping. Connect with us on social media — Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn — and let us know.