25 Sep, 2018 By Wayne Wang

With the popularity of online shopping and the convenience it offers consumers, delivering goods is now a norm. As an online business owner, one of your top priorities is making sure that your products arrive safely to your consumers. However, with a wide variety of shipping solutions available in the market, it can be challenging to pick the best kind.

From the different factors that can influence shipping costs to the multitude of options you can avail, it’s imperative to find out which delivery service is right for your business.


Factors that Affect Shipping Cost

  • Weight and dimension: Packages vary in shapes and sizes, and this can influence the total cost of your shipment. Even if two packages weigh the same, their sizes still make an impact. For instance, shipping a 5kg box measuring 6”x6”x12” would be cheaper than a box weighing the same but measuring 10”x10”x16”’.
  • Shipping address: Couriers charge a heftier fee for remote addresses because of their distance. Others may even charge an additional fee for residential locations if they have gate fees or if they need to pass by an unusual route.
  • Type of shipping service: The faster you get your package delivered, the more expensive it will be. Air freight costs more than ground shipments because it eliminates many cargo transfers and steps in the shipping process.


Online Store Delivery Solutions

Free Shipping

Consumers will flock to your store if you offer free shipping—it’s an instant marketing tactic. There are two options here: You can either create free shipping promos or provide free shipping forever. If you do the former, you will need to absorb the cost of the shipments; if it’s the latter, you can add the charges into the listed price. Free shipping simplifies your checkout process as well, and the fewer steps buyers have to make, the better.

Even though it’s a great marketing ploy, consider the impact that offering free shipping will do for your business. Only do this if you know that your income won’t fall below your expenses. After all, shipping is just free for the consumer, not you.


Flat-rate Shipping

Some consumers are apprehensive about buying a lot for fear of the shipping cost increasing every time they add a new product to their cart. With flat-rate shipping, you can ease their minds. Publishing a fixed rate for your shipments will also give consumers a rough idea of the total amount they’ll be paying during checkout. This will encourage them to buy a lot of products so that they can maximise the fee.

Small-to-medium (SMB) businesses can also benefit from this, as they can fit as many products as they can in boxes with set sizes. However, this may not be the best option for business owners that ship big items.


Price-based Shipping

Price-based shipping means that the shipping fee will cost more for higher-priced items; naturally, it’s cheaper for low-priced items. This is because some couriers offer insurance for shipping expensive items. It removes worries from both you and your consumers as you feel safe with the shipment. A price-based delivery structure is especially beneficial for businesses that sell high-value items, such as jewellery, gadgets, designer bags, and the like.


Weight-based Shipping

If you’re in an industry that sells different products that vary drastically in weight, weight-based shipping may be for you. A good example of this is the automotive industry. Car parts have different weights, and each consumer would need different things. You can set parameters for this: They can start with a maximum of 10 kg per package and pay a fee for every kg exceeding that.

It’s a flexible way to manage shipping costs and still be fair to customers. In this scenario, the heavier the item, the more the customer will pay. However, if they don’t exceed the maximum limit of one package, they are charged a flat rate.


Real-time Shipping Rate Calculators

Some e-commerce platforms have real-time shipping rate calculators included in the monthly service plans. It allows you to check updated shipping rates from each courier and service types they offer, so you know which dispatcher to use for that particular purchase.

This method may be more useful for marketplaces who carry items from different industries, as the products in their stores would vary. Shipping calculators also allow you to quote current rates for your consumers so that you don’t under- or over-charge them.


Same-day Shipping

Similar to free shipping, offering same-day delivery is sure to be a hit with your customers. For one, there’s a guarantee that whatever they buy will arrive in their delivery address in a few hours. That’s instant gratification that’s closest to buying a product in-store, without having to exert effort to step foot in a store physically.

If you pick this option, it’s best to settle on a courier you trust. You need to make sure that you have enough staff who can monitor your packages and ensure that they reach your consumers safely.

Same-day delivery is suitable for businesses who continually replenish inventories and have regular-sized items that fit motorcycles or small vans. Larger products may require trucks that need permits or incur extra charges.



You should be able to evaluate the needs of your business as it grows. You may shift from one delivery solution to another to find out which one best serves your business’s purpose and keeps your consumers happy.

Besides choosing the type of delivery solutions you’ll offer, it’s equally important to find a courier who continually provides top-notch service and care for your items. Both of you should work together to bring satisfaction to your consumers and forge a great partnership that can last for a long time.