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Complete eCommerce shipping guide 2020

complete ecommerce shipping guide

Ecommerce business, also known as electronic trade or web business alludes to the selling of products, purchasing, and administrations utilizing the internet along with the exchange of cash and information to execute these business procedures. However, it also portrays any sort of business exchange that is made or encouraged through the web. While e-business refers to all parts of working, an internet business or online business refers to the exchange of enterprises and merchandise. The mobile e-commerce business is a quickly developing new road of e-commerce that is for the most part determined by the growing e-commerce shipping sector business sector and impact of cell phones and recent smart devices associated with shopping on the web.

Ecommerce business has developed to make items simpler to find and buy through online retailers and commercial centers. Autonomous specialists, private ventures, and enormous partnerships have all profited by e-commerce business, which empowers them to sell their products and enterprises at a scale that was unrealistic with conventional disconnected retail.

To date, eCommerce has been entitled to great success by outsourcing fulfillment. If you are good at outsourcing fulfillment, then you can help your business grow at a faster pace. However, there is a silver lining in discussing and choosing a fulfillment company. Not every fulfillment company is made similarly. Every fulfillment providers offer different services on the fulfillment of orders. There are many factors that you need to consider before getting on with the process that is the monthly volumes of the order, the locations of your targeted customers, and last the category of product that you sell.

If you are into an online business, then it can be difficult to determine accurate ways of charging the e-commerce shipping costs from your clients. This can be tricky because of the ample amount of eCommerce stores that are available does not provide that element of consistency. Some questions are bound to cross your paths i.e. whether you should offer free shipping to your customers or whether you should charge the shipping prices based on the weight of the items and lastly will you be capable enough to maintain the profit margins.  

These are the most common questions that bother all the online business holders. In this content, we will highlight the common problems faced by online retailers and their consecutive solutions. The shipping rates that you offer will depend on the type of industry you are working in, the type of items you are delivering, and the estimated sales value of this item.

Before getting into the problems, we need to highlight how you should determine your shipping cost.

Benefits of an e-commerce business

There is a motivation behind why e-commerce has shown such significant development in recent years. Surely, with the web turning into a basic prerequisite of regular daily existence, organizations are figuring out how to exploit the various advantages of e-commerce, the most eminent of which include:

Global market

A physical store will consistently be restricted by a geological region it can serve. An online store or some other kind of e-commerce business has the entire world as its market. Going from a neighborhood client base to a worldwide market at no extra expense is probably the best favorable position of exchanging on the web. In 2018, 11.9% of worldwide retail deals originated from online buys and this is just set to build year on year.


Another incredible advantage of maintaining an online business is that it is constantly open. For a trader, it is an emotional increment in deal openings and an accessible choice for the clients. Unlimited by the working hours, e-commerce organizations can serve clients all day, every day/365.

Reduced cost

Online business organizations profit by fundamentally lower running expenses. As there is no compelling reason to enlist deals staff or keep up a physical retail facade, the major e-commerce costs go to warehousing and item stockpiling. Moreover, those who are maintaining an outsourcing business value even degraded forthright venture requirements. Vendors can offer better limits to their clients and arrangements as they can save considerable amounts on operational costs, they Inventory management: E-commerce shipping business organizations can automate their stock administration by utilizing electronic devices to quicken requesting, conveyance and installment methodology. It is sparing the organization billions in operational and stock expenses.

Targeted marketing

With access to such an abundance of client information and a chance to watch out for client purchasing propensities just as the developing business patterns, e-commerce organizations can remain light-footed and shape their promoting endeavors to give a superior customized understanding and discover all the more new clients. Just consider that you get an opportunity to address all your clients by their specific first names; that is something as of now.

Niche markets

Running a special e-commerce business can be extremely challenging. Scaling a specialty item to get well known is effortful. By taking advantage of a worldwide market, then again, e-commerce retailers can fabricate an exceptionally productive specialty business with no further speculation. Utilizing the web search abilities, clients from any side of the world can discover and buy your items.

Working suitability

Maintaining an e-commerce business implies that you don’t have to sit in an office from 9 to 5 or endure a drive throughout every day. A PC and a proper internet connection are all you need to deal with your business ventures from anywhere on the planet.

How to start an e-commerce business?

There is a consistent question on how you should approach constructing an e-commerce online store. Even though a real online store cannot be constructed in a single day, people try to approach the procedure without proper knowledge. Investigating, building, propelling, and growing a gainful e-commerce business is a multi-layered procedure including various advances and choices. Some pointers are discussed below:

Selecting and sourcing the right product

The initial step to begin an e-commerce business is choosing what items you’re going to sell. Finding a productive thought can be difficult work, so you need to set up to do some genuine burrowing and thinking. Fundamentally, you pick items with sound edges that will permit you to turn a benefit and scale the business later on. When you comprehend what you need to sell, you will have to choose how and where you are going to source the items. The four principle strategies for sourcing items and stock are making, assembling, discount, and outsourcing.

Planning and conducting research

Your product planning will direct which parts of the market you have to inquire about, however probably the most significant territories to investigate will be your opposition, estimating methodology, and your remarkable incentive. Now, it is likewise a smart thought to draft a field-tested strategy that will assist you with envisioning your development procedure and distinguish any potential dangers or obstructions.

Frame your brand identity right

Since you have a promising item thought and a way for the market, it’s an ideal opportunity to begin considering the key components of your store, for instance, area name, your image identity, brand regulations, and your unique logo. Getting your image directly from the beginning can help quicken the development and vanquish the hearts of potential clients. Before directing your concentration toward building the store, you ought to invest some energy examining the essentials of SEO, with the goal that your business gets looking great so far.

Setting e-commerce shipping rates for your online store


You must estimate and calculate your shipping cost before you set the shipping prices that you will be charging from your customers. This is how you can determine the shipping costs:


The first and the foremost thing that you need to assess is the average time needed for you to pack an item that you want to sell. This process will be easier if you calculate considering less number of items. You need to identify the exact number that is required for packing a single item and then divide those numbers by 60. As you get the number, multiply it with the hourly rate that you might consider paying your employees. If you do not have employees for measuring the same, you can consider the minimum rate that you will consider paying.


After handling, you need to identify the average amount required for arranging the materials needed for packaging like the tapes, boxes, cushioning items, and many more. You should always have the exact numbers while determining the amount you need for packing a single item. Nevertheless, if you are selling fewer items you can precisely consider $1 for your packaging.


After the packaging requirements are fulfilled, you need to move on to the postage requirements. Here you need to calculate the average package weights and dynamics. Then place the same numbers in a shipping calculator for assessing various locations where you might carry out your shipments. If most of your clients will be in India, then test out different locations in India to identify the average cost required. 

After you get all three of your numbers and then add them up to determine your final cost excluding the fees and taxes. You will have the average shipping cost according to each order and then you can finally set the shipping rates for your online business.


There are mainly are several ways in which you can manage the shipping rates of your company. However, we’ll be discussing the foremost common solutions:

Free shipping

In this shipping, you deliberately get hold of the shipping and don’t truly charge your customers for the delivery.

Flat-rate shipping

In this shipping method, you set one rate for each order no matter the load, quantity, or size. 

Price-based shipping

In this method, you set the shipping rates in line with the full cart price. This shipping system is typically framed into a tired system. Here the shipping worth ought to be supported by the full cart price of the things purchased. The price will fluctuate concerning items that are being added. However, the tiers can continuously be outlined by the worth of the item.

Weight-based shipping

In this shipping process, you set the shipping price of a particular item ordered according to its weight and dimensions.

Real-time rate calculators for shipping

The shipping cost is calculated in real-time via specific shipping carriers like UPS, FedEx, etc.

Sometimes you can consider combining any of the options mentioned above. For example, you might offer free shipping on items that are above $100 but charge an extra weight-based amount for orders that are less than that.

Calculating the average e-commerce shipping value for your products

The initial step is to work out a variety which will be a possible shipping rate for every one of your products. You need to choose an appropriate carrier and you need to set the dynamics of the product that you are going to be shipping across. This may appear tiresome work, but you cannot avoid it in any doable manner. You have to do this when you ship a product.

After you are done figuring out the weight and size of your product, go to your carrier’s website and log the destination zip code of the areas. Be sure to select both the rural and urban locations. Your carrier might charge more for the rural areas even though they geographically much closer. After getting into the Nitti gritty of it, you will understand the trend. Then it will be easier for you to determine what your average shipping cost will be for each product. 

Calculated v/s Flat rate

Flat rate means charging the shipping rate that has been pre-set whether it is free shipping that is being offered or the shipping rate that is charged for all the orders that are placed. Calculate shipping is different from the flat rate. It is not decided or set for beforehand. It is set considering different variables such as the weight and dimensions of the item, the total price of the item, and the destination where the item is to be delivered.

There are advantages and limitations to both the rates. There have been several types of research and assessment on which of the rates are better when it comes to the whole profit margins of the company. It has been found that the calculated shipping rate is better when it comes to increasing the cart abandonment. 

When the customers are shopping on your online site they tend to make two consecutive decisions- on whether they want the products or items that you are selling on your site, two whether they are willing to pay the price that you are offering on that particular product. These are the two major decisions that you need to go through. You have to be very tricky in such a situation because for every extra decision you ask your customers to make; you will lose one significant amount of them. For instance, while your customers are checking out and they see a shipping rate that is been charged for the item, they will tend to think again whether they are willing to pay the shipping charges and whether the other stores will charge them with the same or less amount. These last-minute decisions can make you lose customers.

Mostly big retail companies do not charge the exact amount that is required for the shipping, so the customers never have the actual idea of the shipping rates. Many retailers tend to offer free and discounted shipping rates and therefore customers always expect to get some kind of discount every time they shop. This is a great strategy because the retailers that are offering such discounts are not losing the money instead they are recouping the amount from elsewhere. Maybe they are increasing their profit margins by increasing the sales price of the product or they have realized that offering free shipping has increased their sales and they are making huge profits in the sales volume.

Shipping terms

If you are not significantly aware of the common e-commerce shipping terms that are used in the shipping industry, then most definitely you will be unfamiliar with the various trading practices that are conducted in respective countries all-round the world. It is very important to know all the shipping terms exactly, otherwise, any default, in this case, can lead to great disputes regarding payments of freights, shipment prices, or cost-related to any kind of insurance or security. The trade rules of the shipping processes are termed as the “International Commercial Terms or Incoterms”. This is a series of rules regarding the shipment processes laid down by the International Chamber of Commerce or ICC. 

EXW (EX works) – Related to (named place for delivery)

The sellers are responsible for making the goods available at the said address or at any other named place. Here the maximum obligations lie on the buyers and minimum obligations lie on the sellers. The Ex-works is used to refer to any particular sale of items without including the cost. EXW means that there is risk associated with the process of shipment and the risk is incurred by the buyers while completing the delivery of the administrations 

FCA (Free Carrier) – (Related to named place for delivery)

The sellers deliver the items that are cleared for exports at a particular place including their premise. The goods or administrations can also be delivered by a carrier who is nominated by the buyer itself. In modern usage, the incoterms have replaced the wide usage of the FOB. However, the probability of risk is always there from loading up the vehicle for abroad ventures to the determined places. 

CPT (Carriage paid to)- (Related to the named place of the location)

CPT takes place of the CFR terms associated with every shipping mode that is beyond the non-packed sea freight along with the C&F. the seller is bound to pay for the transportation of goods up to the said location. However, the goods are already considered as delivered when the items are handed over to the primary or main carrier. Henceforth, the risk passes on to the buyer who has assigned the primary carrier at the said location in the exporting country.

Airway bill number (AWB number)

This number is a –digit tracking code used for tracking shipments. This number can be used to check the real-time status of the delivery and its exact positions. If your delivery is late, then you can use the AWB number to register you to complain to the logistics and the shipping company. 

Shipping invoice

This document contains standard information that includes the address and the name of the receiver and the sender. It also reflects information about the ordered items, which includes the number of items, their price, any applicable taxes, any discounts that are been applied, and the final amount that is being paid.


Ecommerce business has developed to make items simpler to find and buy through online retailers and commercial centers. Autonomous specialists, private ventures, and enormous partnerships have all profited by e-commerce business, which empowers them to sell their products and enterprises at a scale that was unrealistic with conventional disconnected retail. 

Worldwide retail internet business deals are anticipated to reach $27 trillion by 2020.

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