The Definitive Guide to E-commerce Shipping

Shipping is fundamental to the success of e-commerce businesses of all sizes, from single-channel stores to multi-store, multi-warehouse, international operations, and everywhere in between. Wherever your online retail business falls in that spectrum, shipping provides you with an important direct, physical connection to customers, making it foundational to creating a great experience.

In this thorough guide, here is what you can expect:

  • Shipping’s importance to your customers’ experiences: learn what today’s eCommerce customers expect, and the business case for optimizing your shipping processes to meet and exceed those expectations
  • The shipping ecosystem: understand how shipping processes and solutions integrate with selling, accounting, and other processes—plus see examples of some common shipping process flows you can use as a baseline to evaluate your own shipping operations
  • The physical environment: consider how your picking, packing, and fulfillment processes and tools need to align with and support your selling and shipping platforms
  • Shipping service providers and technologies: examine the various software and service solutions you need in order to optimize your shipping operations, and get specific guidance on what capabilities to look for in each
  • Bring it all together: discover how shipping integrates with inventory management and customer management to holistically grow your busines

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of online shoppers rate free shipping options as important when checking out online


of US and UK customers abandon online shopping carts because of unexpected shipping charges


of online shoppers rate shipping as the most important option when checking out online

Table of Contents

Why Do I Care about Shipping

Shipping ecosystem & capabilities to consider:

  • Single vs multiple stores
  • International Shipping
  • Delivery speed and service levels
  • Shipping pricing options
  • Delivery flexibility
  • Returns
  • Data integration
  • Inventory Management
  • Carrier selection
  • Fulfillment locations
  • Pick lists, packing slips & shipping labels
  • Picking & packing process
  • Customer Marketing
  • Analytics and reporting

Shipping processes: High-level

  • Step 1: aggregate and manage orders
  • Step 2: process, fulfill, label
  • Step 3: shipment of orders

Shipping process: flowcharts

  • Most Basic Process: No Shipping Platform
  • Basic Process with Shipping Platform
  • Advanced Process: Product Shipping Information Known
  • Advanced Process: Product Shipping Information Unknown
  • Daily Deal Process
  • Subscription Process
  • Returns Process

System & Services

  • SaaS vs On-premise Software
  • Selling Platforms
  • Shipping Platforms


  • Printers
  • Scales
  • Barcode Scanners
  • Supplies

Shipping Solutions: Evaluation & Selection

How ShippingEasy Can Help