eCommerce BusinessesThe main challenge when determining the right shipping options for your eCommerce business is figuring out a solution that will lower your margins, but still remain appealing to consumers and profitable to you. According to several studies, the “shopping cart abandonment” phenomenon occurs when a potential customer sees his or her cart, and sees the high shipping and handling fees associated with his or her purchase. To prevent this from happening to you, here are some ideas on shipping strategies that could work for you.

Free Shipping

Free shipping, exclusively for domestic orders, is an excellent way to attract customers. But based on your margins, this could likewise potentially lower your profits. To offer free shipping, you’ll have to either relatively increase your prices or absorb the costs. Many successful eCommerce businesses offer free shipping, but only if customers purchase a minimum quantity of items or reach a specific purchase amount. This will potentially increase your average order quantity and aid you in getting money to cover the shipping costs.

The Flat Rate

You could offer flat rates for each package, or for order totals and weight ranges. However, you’ll need to do some work first since you’ll have to determine the average shipping cost of your packages. Whether you offer flat rates or not, you should regularly perform this calculation anyway to ensure that you won’t be overcharging or undercharging your customers.

Real-time Fees

Some eCommerce sites offer shipping quotes in real time, so your customers will know exactly how much shipping and handling fees are with your chosen carrier. This is a great option if you’re looking to build a more trustworthy relationship with existing and new customers because they’ll see for themselves that you’re not increasing prices for shipping or your products to ship their purchases. It’s likewise a viable option for oversized or bulky packages.

Note, however, that you will have to figure out your product statistics and the best way you can ship the items so you could better make a profitable and strategic decision. For this, you’ll require the right shipping programs and other relevant tools so that you can accurately perform your calculations. Lastly, remember that not all eCommerce businesses are the same and you will only determine the right shipping option for you through good old trial and error method.