Next up, you need to figure out your shipping. To start, there are a few things you’ll need to figure out:
- Will you offer free shipping or flat-rate shipping?
- If you also own a brick-and-mortar business, will you allow in-store pickup?
- How do you want to package your products for delivery?
- Will you ship to all areas domestically?
- Do you offer international shipping?
- Do you need a shipping calculator as part of your shopping cart?
- How will you handle labeling?
- Are you using a fulfillment warehouse?
- Which courier(s) are you using?
Shipping is a major element of your business, so these are all questions you need to answer before you can officially create your online shop. And of course, the right choice for you may vary depending on your store and your website builder.
For instance, an online clothing store might opt for flat-rate shipping because most products in the store catalogue weigh the same (or close to the same) and are a similar size. And unless that clothing shop had a brick-and-mortar location as well, in-store pickup might not be an option.
Certain website builders also offer enhanced compatibility with certain couriers. If you have a Shopify store, for example, you may find it easiest and cheapest to use Shopify’s own shipping service (Shopify Shipping). But if you use Wix, you may find it easiest to use FedEx’s plugin to automatically generate your shipping labels.
You’ll want to make sure that whatever choices you make, your e-commerce software (and the plan you select with that website builder) can support your needs. If you want to offer free shipping or a shipping calculator, for instance, you might need to upgrade your plan to get those features.