The Shipping Guide for eCommerce Stores

You’ve crossed the finish line when someone clicks on the “purchase” button. It’s almost. To keep customers coming back for more, you will need seamless shipping.

This guide will help you determine the best strategy to delight customers throughout the sales funnel.

Shipping methods and carriers

Let’s start with the most commonly used shipping terms: carriers and methods.

shipping company is the company that delivers your products to customers. This includes USPS, FedEx and UPS.

Shipping methods These are the options and rates that customers can choose from at checkout. Next-day shipping is $15.00 or three-day shipping costs $5.00. These options are often determined by the shipping companies you use and can impact delivery speed and cost.

Shipping fulfillment encompasses the entire delivery process. It starts with determining costs and printing labels, then continues with tracking and status updates, delivery completion, and finally with delivery.

For more information, please visit: You can find all the information you need about shipping and fulfillment in our shipping and fulfillment manual.

Dates, weights and rates

Consider these key factors before you decide on shipping and fulfillment options.

  1. Dates. You can determine the location of your customers and how long it will take to deliver. Also, you can decide whether express shipping is available.
  2. Weights. Shipping costs will be affected by the size and weight each product.
  3. Shipping Rates. You can decide how much shipping costs you will charge. You can charge less, more, or the same shipping charges to different carriers.
Photo © https://xeroshoes.com/

Now that you are familiar with the various shipping options you offer, it is time to start thinking about your shipping strategy. It is important to find the right combination of carrier, pricing, and method that will meet your customers’ needs without compromising your profits. Let’s look at some options.

  1. Live Rates Calculate shipping fees based upon size, weight and distance. These are synchronized in real-time with your carrier ( FedExUPSUSPS, etc.). Based on their charges. Because they provide transparency and choice, live rates are very popular. Customers can view the entire range of shipping options based on speed from the cheapest to most expensive.
  2. Table rates calculate shipping using a set rules you create based on factors such as product prices, orders totals, and destinations. This allows for the most customization. For anything less than eight pounds, you might charge $5.00, for anything greater than eight pounds, or $10.00, for shipping to New York. You can easily create custom rules with the WooCommerce table rate shipping extension.
  3. Flat ratessimplify shipping by taking the guesswork out calculating rates. No matter the weight or size, you will be charged the same amount. This is an excellent option if you have consistent inventory sizes and weights, or if customers frequently order the same quantity. default WooCommerce settings allow you to charge a flat fee per item, a percentage-based price, or a minimum amount.
  4. Customers are happy when you offer free shipping, but it can also reduce your margins. Customers might not be interested in paying shipping costs if you include them in the product price. Keep your prices low and shipping free in the hopes that it will increase sales.
  5. Combining shipping options gives you the best of both. You can mix and match shipping options if a single-size-fits all approach doesn’t suit your business. To encourage customers to add more products, one approach is to offer free shipping if orders exceed a certain amount.

Learn more:

Implement your shipping strategy

After you have done your research and weighed all options, you are ready to set up your shipping strategy.

1. Backup your store

Start by backing up your entire store if it is online. This will ensure that you don’t lose any order information or data in the event of unanticipated problems. Jetpack Backup is recommended for this.

Once your backup is complete you can update WordPress, WooCommerce and your theme as well as all plugins in order to make sure that your WordPress site is compatible with new shipping or fulfillment extensions.

2. Configure WooCommerce settings

You don’t need to add any plugins or extensions to offer free shipping or local pickup or flat-rate shipping — everything is already built into WooCommerce.

Navigate to WooCommerce Settings – Shipping from your dashboard. You can also create shipping areas to set rates based upon customer locations and shipping class for groups of identical products.

3. Install and activate shipping extensions

An extension is required to implement live rates or table rates. Extensions can be used to add additional features such as shipping labels, tracking numbers and warehouse sync.

Start by downloading or purchasing an extension from the WooCommerce Marketplace. You are not sure which one? To make the best decision for your store, check out our post on shipping strategies. These are some great options:

You can find more information in our How to Implement a Shipping Strategy post.

Ship — and Profit!

Now you can start shipping! You’re ready to ship!