It’s an age-old question for ecommerce store owners.

How do you walk the tightrope between making a profit and making a sale?

On the one hand you need those sweet dollars.

On the other, you need customers who come back to your store, and it’s well known that shipping costs do matter to customers.

Estimating shipping costs can be a painful experience.

Calculators, coffee, and brain cells are flying all over the place.

Luckily for you, there are a few options when it comes to estimating shipping costs for your ecommerce store. We’ll run you through three popular options for estimating shipping.

Option One: Offer flat rate shipping costs

What is flat rate shipping?

Flat rate shipping is simply setting a price for shipping in your ecommerce store.

How do you set up flat rate shipping for your ecommerce store?

#1. Figure out the average cost to ship each of your products
#2.Figure out the box size and weight of your products
#3. Enter these details into a courier’s shipping calculator (test a few others to get a general price)
#4. Work out the average cost
#5. This cost will be the flat rate you set

Offering flat rate shipping to your customers will help convert them in the checkout process. They won’t be surprised by the cost of shipping when they reach the checkout, so will be more likely to follow through with the order.

Option Two: Offer free shipping

If the idea of offering free shipping to your customers has you shaking in your boots, don’t stress.

Free shipping doesn’t mean you’re going to lose any possible profit.

It simply means you need to think smart.

Offering free shipping to your customers is like giving them a gift they’ve already paid for. Many customers are so excited by the prospect of not paying for shipping they’ll convert, regardless of the fact you’ve absorbed the shipping costs into your products.

How do you set up free shipping in an ecommerce store?

The steps are very similar to those above – you need to understand the average shipping cost of your products first and foremost.

After you’ve figured out the average price, you can then absorb this cost into the price of your products.

Another option is setting a minimum order value to get free shipping. This helps convert customers who want to order, but are wary of the shipping costs of their total order. Customers are more likely to add to their order to qualify for free shipping, rather than paying the shipping cost.

No matter how you do it, offering free shipping is a guaranteed way to generate sales.

Option Three: Offer a live shipping calculator

Customers love the freedom to customise the things they buy. Whether it’s by monogramming your initials onto a bag or customising your own gift wrap, offering your customers freedom to customise is something which will guarantee a sale.

Having the choice to pick their own shipping cost is something customers will love.

Your customers will be presented with the options of pricing and availability – they can decide based on their own needs. There’s flexibility and transparency in providing a shipping calculator, and it can actually help your customers build trust in your brand.

How do you set up a live shipping calculator on your ecommerce website?

Simply install Transdirect’s shipping calculator on your website and the rest is history! You will be able to provide your customers with live quotes on their cart, and Transdirect can handle the rest.

If you’re looking for tips and tricks to improve your ecommerce shipping strategy, download our Shipping Made Easy guide today.


Check out these tips on how to ship a package for the cheapest shipping costs.