eCommerce Shipping

The Comprehensive Guide to Effective eCommerce Shipping

An effective eCommerce shipping strategy is more than just promoting free shipping and fast delivery, although these can be great additions to your plan. This guide below will help you through your eCommerce shipping journey and give you all the knowledge you need to plan an effective eCommerce shipping strategy. 

According to Metapack, 37% of shoppers wouldn’t return to a retailer following a poor delivery experience, so having a good eCommerce shipping strategy is the key to the success of your online store. 

If you would like more information about the entirety of eCommerce as a whole, please read our article on eCommerce here. Are you more interested in shipping internationally as an eCommerce business? We also have an informative article discussing all you need to know about eCommerce international shipping

If you’re interested in expanding out of in-house fulfilment or to grow your business internationally, The Delivery Group is the best shipping company for eCommerce. Get in touch today.

customer fulfilment operations at an ecommerce warehouse

What is eCommerce Shipping?


eCommerce shipping is the term covering the entirety of the services required to transport products purchased online from an eCommerce online store to the customer’s delivery address. Choosing the right shipping partners for eCommerce, like The Delivery Group, eCommerce shipping can be made manageable, cost-effective, and efficient.

The shipping process for eCommerce involves everything from the receiving of a customer order, to preparing their order for last-mile delivery. The process of eCommerce shipping can be broken down into three primary stages:

  1. Order receiving: make sure items are in stock to fulfil the order.
  2. Order processing: the verification of order data, and ensuring it is accurate by verifying the shipping address.
  3. Order fulfilment: a picking list will be generated for items to be picked, packed, and made ready for shipping.

eCommerce Shipping Methods and Strategies

Every business is different, meaning that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy for eCommerce shipping. The right eCommerce shipping strategy for your unique business will depend on a few factors, such as:

  • Audience
  • Budget
  • Profit margins
  • Product
  • And more

As a general rule of thumb, offering a combination of shipping methods will help to reduce shipping cart abandonment and increase your conversions. These methods can be from same-day shipping, two-day shipping, or ‘normal’ shipping, all at different price points.

Below are 8 shipping methods that you could consider adopting for your eCommerce shipping strategy. 

2-Day Shipping

Thanks to the rise, and popularity, of Amazon Prime, 2-day shipping has become the norm within online shopping; becoming a highly requested eCommerce shipping solution. This kind of shipping is a premium shipping option, and it may only seem like an option for huge conglomerates such as ASOS, however, there are ways for all scopes of business to offer 2-day shipping to their customers without the need to break the bank.

a customer preparing to return a parcel for a refund
a woman managing inventory in her eCommerce stock room

Same-Day Delivery

Same-day delivery gives your customer the guarantee that their item will be delivered on the same day that it is purchased. According to Jungleworks, 61% of consumers will be willing to pay for this kind of shipping speed. Similarly to the above, you may think this is only available to giants such as Argos, though it can be achieved by all businesses.

The successful execution of same-day delivery is reliant upon coordinated operations, resources, courier services, and technology.

Overnight Shipping

In a world where 2-day shipping is the norm, how can eCommerce brands expect to stand out among the competition? Overnight shipping is an eCommerce shipping method that comes alongside the guarantee that customers will receive their order on the next business day.

Different carriers offer this service at different price points, find out what we can offer you when you choose The Delivery Group.

fast secure mailing
TDG Truck

Expedited Shipping

Expedited shipping refers to any eCommerce shipping method faster than standard ground. The exact turnaround for orders with expedited shipping can vary on the carrier, and shipping services offered. If you offer expedited shipping, it can help to reduce the cart abandonment rate within your online store, it can help to consistently meet customer expectations, and build customer loyalty with effective eCommerce shipping options and delivery options.

International Shipping

If you’re a UK based eCommerce business and are looking to branch into a global customer base, or even if you’re based overseas and wish to start eCommerce shipping in the UK, shipping internationally can be a challenging and costly feat for any brand.

While different countries have different regulations, tariffs, taxes, and requirements for incoming shipments, it is important to use third-party fulfilment and shipping partners for eCommerce who can help with the navigation of the Universal Postal Union agreements, international shipping, and affordable shipping rates.

If you’re looking for a third party fulfilment service that can help you with your global expansion, get in touch with The Delivery Group today.

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international hand delivery services
A windmill in a field of tulips in The Netherlands

Eco-Friendly Shipping

For brands and customers who are more conscious of the environment, eco-friendly shipping is an option for these customers. This eCommerce shipping method includes the use of biodegradable materials that can be recycled easier, repurposed for other things, and decompose quicker than traditional materials.

There are many eco-friendly packaging solutions available for online businesses and eCommerce stores, such as compostable mailer bags, and biodegradable packing peanuts.

Hybrid Shipping Services

Hybrid shipping services like UPS SurePost and FedEx SmartPost pick up your orders and then work with other carriers, such as Royal Mail or Hermes, to transport your customer packages to a sorting facility or post office area. From here, it will be shipped to its final destination.

Choosing the hybrid eCommerce shipping method can cut shipping costs in half in some cases, however, this often means a slower delivery.

Royal Mail
ship to australia

Freight Shipping

In layman’s terms, freight shipping is the movement of cargo across the globe through the air, over the land, or across the sea. Shipments larger than 30x30x30x inches, or weighs over 150 lbs, are considered freight.

eCommerce businesses often use the freight shipping option to receive inventory from their manufacturers for shipped products to fulfilment centres or distributors.

eCommerce Shipping Costs

According to Comscore, 73% of shoppers expect affordable, fast, deliveries when they shop online. However, you also need to ensure that your shipping rates are also affordable for you and your business.

Logistics and eCommerce shipping costs can seem complex, so we’ve compiled a guide on everything you need to know about eCommerce shipping solutions in the UK.

Calculating Shipping Costs

Shipping costs will vary depending on multiple different variables. These include:

  • The package dimensions
  • Weight of the package
  • Shipping destination
  • Shipping service used
  • Shipping carrier being used
  • Value of the contents
parcel delivery fulfilment operations at a distribution centre
warehouse packing operations with a worker packing a parcel with a tape gun

Dimensional Weight

All mainstream shipping carriers use a technique for pricing called dimensional (DIM) weight to calculate the cost of shipping. Dimensional weight is able to take the sizes and weights of the package into account in order to determine the cost of shipping it.

Carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DPD calculate these shipping charges based on whichever variable is highest: the weight of the package, or its dimensional weight. The highest value becomes the billable weight for which your eCommerce business will be charged.

Reducing Shipping Costs

Lower shipping costs is a must-have for any growing eCommerce business, and working with a third-party logistics provider, like The Delivery Group, can make a big difference to these costs. Outsourcing to The Delivery Group will help your eCommerce business scale operationally, alongside being able to leverage discounted shipping.

Our network of fulfilment centres can also help growing eCommerce businesses save on shipping costs whilst reducing delivery times to your customers.

ecommerce business post
a woman picking and packing stock at a fulfilment warehouse

Shipping and Handling

eCommerce shipping costs refer to the cost of your package travelling from the carrier to the end destination. Handling fees will cover everything else, such as:

  • Employees picking items
  • Moving inventory
  • Packing shipments
  • Generating shipping labels
  • Loading shipments for transport
  • And other fulfilment centre operations

For details on our pricing, please speak with our friendly customer services team who can answer all of the questions you may have. Get in touch with The Delivery Group today.

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eCommerce Shipping Rates

Multiple different eCommerce businesses use a variety of different shipping rate structures to charge their customers for shipping. Below, we explain three popular models of eCommerce shipping rates.

Flat Rate Shipping

Flat rate shipping refers to different categories of items being charged a specific shipping rate. This means that:

  • Items of a certain weight range
  • Items of a certain value range
  • Other variables

Can all be charged a certain price. For example, you may charge more for all heavy items that you sell, and less for lighter items. Flat rate shipping should be the blended average shipping and handling cost across customer orders in a specific category, however, this method means that the real cost of shipping some orders may not be completely covered, and the real cost of shipping others may be overcompensated.

Real-Time Carrier Rates

Some eCommerce stores have the ability to display real-time carrier rates at the checkout point. The exact shipping rates can be pulled automatically from carriers based on the location and delivery preferences of your customer.

This method allows you to charge the exact amount that it will cost your business to fulfil the eCommerce shipping.

Free Shipping

By offering free shipping, you can reduce the rate shopping carts are abandoned, increase your sales, and build customer loyalty. A brand that offers free shipping can remain profitable in a few ways. This includes:

  • Including the shipping cost in the product price.
  • Requiring a spend threshold to achieve free shipping.
  • Taking a recurring fee in exchange for free shipping on all orders, such as ASOS Premium or Amazon Prime.

Contact The Delivery Group to Start Your eCommerce Shipping Journey

Are you looking for a third-party fulfilment provider who can help you expand out of in-house fulfilment? With The Delivery Group, you can start your journey with the UK’s favourite eCommerce shipping provider.

Whether you’re simply looking to expand your customer base throughout the UK and need help with jargon and eCommerce shipping terms, or you’re already well-established and wish to grow internationally, our expert team of pickers, packers, and shippers can ensure everything is done efficiently, and effectively.

To begin your journey with one of the UK’s best eCommerce shipping companies, contact The Delivery Group today.