How Can Your E-commerce Cut Shipping Costs and Save Money

How Can Your E-commerce Cut Shipping Costs and Save Money

Shipping might be overwhelming at first, especially with all the shipping options out there. How to choose the right shipping option and method and still save money on shipping? There are some ways to achieve cost-effective shipping. One way is to obtain a shipping solution that can help you optimize your shipping process, which is not only a cost saver but also a time saver. The other way is to choose the right shipping features, carrier services, shipping options, in addition to simple stuff like optimal packaging, or scheduling pickups. These tips are all written down here to help you with your e-commerce shipping.

The Right Packaging

How many times did it happen to you that you received an online order in a much bigger box than the product itself? As a retailer, you have to match the product’s dimensions to those of the package. Small products shipped in a box bigger than necessary cost more because of the extra space they take in the vehicle. Carriers can not take more merchandise onboard and are forced to charge extra. The optimal packaging is not only about the carriers. To achieve the highest accuracy of shipping rates, you have to match products dimensions with the dimensions of the package. The most important dimensions that are taken into consideration are the width, length, and height of the product. Each carrier then divides the number by its unique shipping factor. The shipping factor is different for each carrier. Use Dimensional Weight Calculator to avoid making mistakes, when calculating shipping costs manually.

Choose the Right Carrier

Shipping costs depend on the destination, delivery time, product attribute, and type of transportation. Depending on various criteria, carriers offer different shipping services.

The majority of carriers offer express delivery or expedited shipping. This is an overnight service and is by far the most expensive one to use. Usually, delivery is scheduled to arrive early before the business day starts around 8 am, or in the early afternoon. 

Standard delivery takes any time from 3-5 working days. It is a less expensive option, and people, in general, do not mind waiting 3-5 days for their package to arrive. So, unless you are in the food industry where all the products are time-sensitive and perishable, avoid expedited shipping. Expedited shipping is normally overpriced and unnecessary. 

You can get real-time rates directly from the carriers you work with. Oftentimes, carriers offer discounted real-time shipping rates as well for their clients.

Accurate Delivery Dates

Alert your customers when is the package expected to arrive and before it’s due. Displaying delivery dates at the checkout affects shipping costs directly. Scheduled deliveries let the customers know when the package is due, customers can prepare in advance and plan their time accordingly. Some carriers charge extra money if they have to re-route the package or send it back to the retailer. 

In-store Pickup and Curbside Pickup

The in-store pickup option should be selected when the shipping distance to the shop is less than the physical address of the customer. Also, people like the time flexibility in-store pickups offer them. The courier might deliver directly to your door which is comfortable, but there is also a problem that couriers always come during your work time. Because it happens to be their working time as well. 

Curbside pickup, on the other hand, can be even more convenient option for you and your customers. Curbside pickup allows your customers to drive and pick up the order directly from your warehouse. Customers do not even have to step out of the car to get their package. With curbside pickup, you do not ship your goods at all and thus can save money on shipping. 

Shipping Options

The most widely used shipping options are flat rate and table rates shipping. Knowing when to ship with one or the other can significantly reduce your shipping costs. Every product has different product attributes and will require a different shipping option. It is recommended to ship lightweight packages using table rates and flat rates for heavyweight packages. However, the difference might not be always so easy to tell apart. 

Table rate shipping is considered a more cost-effective shipping option. Even though they are very complex, the process can be fully automated with shipping software. On the other hand, a flat rate is very straightforward and easy to use.


Shipping can be tricky sometimes, especially with all the shipping options available out there. Retailers need to choose from all the carriers, and their corresponding shipping services for domestic and international shipping. The packaging needs to be optimally packaged so that the carriers do not charge extra for larger packages. However, the most important are the customers and their satisfaction here. Customers need to have a choice when it comes to shipping and delivery options. In-store Pickup and Curbside Pickup saves the cost of shipping on your side as well. 

It is a lot to bear in mind, however many of these processes can be fully automatized with the right shipping software. It might be worth trying shipping software that could do this all for you. If not, hopefully, these tips could help you at least a little bit.

Authors Bio: Lucia Liskova

Lucia Liskova is Marketing Manager at Calcurates. Calcurates is a multi-carrier shipping software that helps e-commerce calculate and display the right shipping methods and rates at the checkout.