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The Best eCommerce Shipping Options for your Online Store

Pramod Bhat
  •  
  •  
March 2, 2021

The rise of the eCommerce industry has encouraged consumers to buy online rather than physically going to the mall to purchase their necessities. Amazon has grown even more when  COVID-19 started, where everyone is advised to stay inside. Moreover, it has put extra emphasis on convenience and shipping. Even though the two go hand-in-hand, we can’t deny that shipping is one of the essential components for a successful online store. If you want to stand-out in a saturated market, you need to offer different eCommerce shipping options to your customers.

Standing out and staying relevant is a must to a constantly changing industry. As more businesses sell online, you need to learn to innovate and create new offers for your customers. As we all know, what works today might not work tomorrow, so you need to be on top of the game. In this case, having a desirable shipping option can be highly beneficial. 

Based on the 2018 Pitney Bowes Global eCommerce study, 91% of customers leave their cart once they find out the shipping isn’t free or fast. Also, 36% of consumers shop somewhere else after a bad experience. Clearly, having a well-executed shipping plan where customers can receive the product in a timely manner can drive sales and create return customers. 

In this article, we are going to talk about the best shipping options you can offer to your customers, border shipping services, and small business shipping in Canada. 

  1. Free Shipping

Free shipping is one of the most popular shipping options due to Amazon’s free shipping for Amazon Prime members. Customers love free shipping and for good reasons too! They don’t have to pay for the shipping fee, and it increases the conversion rate on your part. Studies have found out that 73% of respondents stated that free shipping affects their decision in purchasing a product. So, if you want them to purchase a product in your store, you need to offer them free shipping. 

However, the shipping cost is free on your customer’s part but not to you! You have to pay the carrier and make enough to cover the shipping costs. That’s why you see stores that only offer free shipping for a certain price. If you do plan to offer free shipping, make sure that the orders will cover the cost of shipping so that it won’t affect your sales. Lastly, exclude products that are too heavy for your free shipping offer.

  1. Flat rate shipping

To avoid the challenges of free shipping, you can offer the flat rate shipping option to your customers. Flat rate shipping means your customer pays a fixed fee regardless of order value. Flat rate shipping is best if your product line has the same weight and dimensions. 

  1. Live rates from carriers

If you want to offer the best possible rate for your customers while still covering your costs, choosing live rates from carriers is the best option. Using live rates helps you charge customers the exact amount based on the weight of the product and their location. It avoids overcharging and undercharging your customers. 

If your customer lives near your warehouse or location, they will have a cheaper shipping cost than those who live internationally. Integrate the shipping carrier’s system to your store, so you can keep track of the orders. You may also use an international shipping rate calculator for customers living abroad. Aside from the shipping cost, you can add the packaging cost to the total delivery fee.  

  1. Table rate shipping

It’s not fair to charge a customer located a few miles away from the warehouse the same fee as the one located abroad. A customer living in your country expects a cheaper shipping cost and faster delivery service. Hence, table rate shipping is a good option, especially for customers living halfway across the world. With a table rate shipping option, you can set a rate based on the shipment size, weight and location. It will allow you to provide more affordable shipping for the customers located closest to you, while still offering fair rates to those located abroad.

  1. Mixed and alternative shipping options

You always think outside of the box for your shipping option. Try mixing and matching different shipping options for a more effective shipping service to your customers. Furthermore, it allows you to balance your revenue needs with promotional opportunities. For example, you can offer live rate shipping for overnight delivery while free shipping for standard business days shipping.

  1. Local pickup option

The local pickup option allows your customers the opportunity to pick up their items from you in person. If you have multiple warehouses, you can schedule a pickup on a specific location. Moreover, if you have a storefront, they can pick it up there. 

Through the local pickup option, you’ll be able to save time and money on shipping, and customers will have the option to visit the location closest to them to get their products quicker. Plus, if you offer a discount for local pickups, they might be more motivated to visit you in person, and perhaps buy again in your store. 

  1. Ship to multiple addresses

There may be a time when your customers ask to ship parts of their orders to different locations. This happens when they don’t have the opportunity to meet with a friend or loved one, and decides to send them a gift. By offering multiple addresses in the same order, your customers don’t have to place multiple orders to send gifts to different people. And if they find out that you offer this service to them, they will be encouraged to buy at your store. Try multi-address shipping when you plan to increase your sales during the holidays and have a number of customers who have requested this feature. 

  1. Conditional shipping

Expanding their business is every seller’s dream when they start their eCommerce business. Targeting the international market is the right step towards this goal. However, it can get tricky if you are selling items that aren’t available in all parts of the world, or the shipping fee is too high. 

Conditional shipping is the way to go. This prevents customers from ordering items that aren’t available in their country, restrict specific payment gateways, and prevent purchases that are too costly to ship. Moreover, conditional shipping is helpful if your store follows specific compliance with licensors or external payment solutions. Instead of manually screening, or cancelling orders, adding a conditional shipping plug-in can streamline the process. 

Next steps after choosing your eCommerce shipping options

Even though you have already chosen your shipping options, you must keep in mind that what works for you now may not work in the future. As your business expands, you need to try out new things to look for the best fit for your store. Just try to be as open to new ideas and learn to appreciate the feedback of others. 

Now that you have chosen your shipping options, here are a few steps you can take to help you start your eCommerce shop:

  • Research supply chain options

Start researching manufacturing companies, so you have an idea on who will be developing your product. It will also help you check the quality of your product and understand the terms of the agreement. 

  • Read different eCommerce shipping resources

Knowledge is power. You can’t run a store without arming yourself with the necessary information to run your business. Hence, you can check out Seller Interactive’s blog to learn more on Amazon. You also check out the Stallion Express blog for eCommerce shipping advice and tips. 

  • Find an eCommerce platform.

If you haven’t chosen an eCommerce platform yet, then we suggest picking Amazon. Amazon has over 2.5 million active sellers on the platform and has generated $53.76 billion in 2019 from third-party sellers. Amazon also has a lot of programs that you can avail such as Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Amazon Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertisement, Amazon Prime, and many more. 

Conclusion

Picking a shipping option is a great idea for your online store. It allows your customers to pick a number of shipping options that will suit their needs and gives you the opportunity to increase your sales. You can pick two or more shipping options based on your store’s needs. 

Just don’t forget to tweak it as time goes by because you also have to think about what’s best for your customers. Moreover, you have to look for a reliable shipping carrier that can offer these shipping options. So, which shipping service is cheapest? Stallion Express! 
Stallion Express offers the cheapest and most reliable shipping service. You can save up to 50% when you’re shipping across the country, and the delivery period is 2 to 8 business days. Plus, you can integrate your store with Stallion Express to keep track of orders. It’s no wonder Stallion Express is the preferred shipping service of Canadian businesses. If you want to know more about our services, give us a call now!

Get started today! Ship faster, smarter, cheaper with Stallion.

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Pramod Bhat
Written by Pramod Bhat

Pramod is the CEO of Stallion Express - the leading eCommerce shipping provider in Canada. His vision, leadership, and innovative strategies have catapulted Stallion into one of the industry's most trusted brands. He is on a mission to help online sellers in Canada scale and succeed. He is also the reigning office ping pong champion.

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"Stallion Express is a game changer for small business owners like myself. My online store wouldn't be where it's at today without the Stallion Express team."
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Ship faster, smarter, and cheaper with Stallion Express
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