Starting a website? Do you have a ‘Shipping’ solution?

There are many things to consider when starting an ‘e-commerce’ website. Shipping is quite often not given a lot of thought or left as the last thing to consider which can be a costly mistake. Finding the right shipping solution early on is key for your website and shipping strategy.

Keeping your ‘shipping’ or ‘postage’ costs low are important. However they’re not the only consideration when setting up a shipping solution. You need to also consider things like “Does my delivery company…”

  • Provide ‘Door to Door’ services (or do I need to drop goods off at a Post Office)?
  • Have a ‘Tracking’ system (for my peace of mind and my customers)
  • Do I need to meet a monthly or yearly quota to continue to enjoy my current pricing structure?
  • Provide other service options (e.g. Express/Overnight, 1 hour/2 hour/4 hour same day local deliveries, Receipted Deliveries, Heavy item delivery options, etc)? Today’s online buyers are savvy and will want ‘extra’ options apart from just the cheapest/slowest delivery service.
  • Can they provide an option to cover your goods against loss or damage in transit?
  • Can they provide a ‘returns’ system for you?
  • Do they have a ‘shipping solution’ to work in with your website checkout?

There are many types of shopping carts and systems available. Larger ‘web development companies’ generally develop their own shopping carts with a range of customised features for their merchants. Smart Send’s “Smart API” solution is free and can be integrated into these types of carts to provide ‘real time’ shipping costs at checkout, automated booking services with carriers, shipping label generation and ‘real time’ Tracking via a merchant’s website.

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If you’re after a cheaper option and prefer to handle the website yourself, you might consider an ‘open-source’ cart solution. These can be free or cost very little to setup and quite often you can do this yourself with little programming experience. There are new ‘open-source’ carts being released regularly, however some of the well known solutions in the marketplace are:

  • WordPress
  • Opencart
  • Magento
  • Prestashop
  • Oscommerce
  • Virtuemart
  • Zencart

 

Smart Send has developed free shipping plugins or add-ons for these carts (to provide ‘real time’ shipping costs at checkout) and continues to develop new plugins regularly (or on request).

For further advice/assistance or to query our shopping cart ‘shipping’ solutions, please go to https://www.smartsend.com.au/smart-api.cfm.