Shipping is often the “make or break” point of a consumer’s online purchase. If it’s too costly, not offered via their preferred carrier, or perhaps even inconvenient in some way, a potential customer is more than happy to abandon their shopping cart so they can find what they want elsewhere.

There are plenty of ways to avoid losing your shoppers over a mere shipping setting, though. Plenty of add-ons and extensions are available that can help you expand your store’s shipping options, and they go far beyond simply adding another carrier or switching to flat fees. With the right extensions, you can charge more accurately, split up orders, and even skip the shipping process entirely.

Read on to get some insight on shipping options you might have never considered before now!

1- Add-on shipping solutions:

There are a wide variety of add-on solutions available that can streamline nearly every portion of the shipping process, including:

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  • Shipping providers — Plugins from local providers including real-time rate calculation based on estimated weight and customer location.
  • Process automation — Extensions that automatically handle processes like label printing, drop shipment notifications, email notifications, and so on.
  • Third party sync — Sync with external providers who manage shipments, returns, or customer communication.

Invest in additional shipping solutions if you:

  • Want to add non-standard or local shipping options to your store.
  • Are looking for a shipping suite that will manage functionality like generating and printing labels, sending notifications, or product inventory.
  • Need to be able to automatically calculate and present real-time shipping rates vs. flat fees.

2- Location, order size, or weight-based fee calculation:

A customer located in your country will expect a variety of affordable options for receiving their order, including trusted local methods or even in-person pickup.

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Invest in table rate shipping if you:

  • Have a large or growing store that ships to multiple locations.
  • Want to offer vastly different rates to different areas.
  • Need the flexibility of defining different rates and methods by ZIP or postal code, state, region, or country.

3-Add or remove shipping options at checkout:

Here are two plugins that will allow you to restrict or add shipping destinations during the checkout process.

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  • Conditional shipping: restrict products based on a customer’s location.
  • Ship to multiple addresses: allow orders to be split up at checkout.
  • Conditional shipping: restrict products based on a customer’s location.

Invest in conditional shipping if you:

  • Want to limit the shipment of specific products to specific locations.
  • Need an automated, inexpensive way to respect licensing or sales agreements.
  • Are looking for ways to restrict payment gateway access by a customer’s country of origin.
  • Want to prevent customers from placing orders that would be too costly to ship (for either you or them)

4- Local pickup: skip the shipment entirely:

The Local Pickup Plus extension offers multiple advanced options, including pickup from different locations, automatic pickup discounts, and the ability to split an order if desired.

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Invest in the local pickup if you:

  • Have one or more physical locations where customers can pick up their orders
  • Are already selling locally and want to expand to an online store
  • Want to offer discounts to those who pick up their item locally
  • Want to split orders between shipments and local pickups

5- Print and include invoices or packing slips:

Packing slips and printed invoices still have their place in the business world, despite a growing reliance on digital solutions. Companies rely on them to show they’ve received orders, or send them to their accounts payable departments to receive reimbursement for a purchase.

Creating packing slips by hand can be time-consuming. It makes more sense to find a solution that can do this for you automatically. And that’s exactly what the Print Invoices and Packing Lists extension does.

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Invest in printed invoices or packing slips if you:

  • Have a few customers who specifically request or prefer these printouts
  • Are already creating your own invoices or packing lists and want to save time
  • Want to include printed return instructions or other pertinent information within your orders

6- Change your shipping options until your customers are satisfied:

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There you have it! These are eight shipping options you should consider for your store, and some E-Commerce extensions that make them possible. Try one, two, or all of them until you’re satisfied with the results and all the options you’re able to extend to your customers.
Are you using (or considering) any of these extensions? What shipping options do you consider crucial for growing E-Commerce websites? If you’ve got the time, chime in below in the comments section and let us know your thoughts on all things shipping.

7- Per product shipping: charge fees only for specific items:

Allowing per Product Shipping fees on your store will make this easier on you. You can set up extra fees for one or all of your products, and charge rates on these items that will keep you from losing money on your transactions.

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Invest in per-product shipping if you:

  • Have a few items that require additional shipping and/or handling fees
  • Need to be able to override your existing shipping rates, promotions, etc. on specific items
  • Have product variations that are larger or heavier and require special shipments