How to Determine Shipping Costs in eCommerce

For most of those who are running an online business, shipping is a crucial component that must be optimized in order to reach peak levels of success. Otherwise, you run the risk of seeing a lapse in productivity (or even dissatisfied customers).

Cost, in particular, is an attribute that needs careful attention. But, not everyone knows how to determine shipping costs.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

Free Shipping

This shipping option is an enticing benefit that can often draw your customers to your online store. 

It’s important to note, though, that since you’ll be covering the shipping costs, you may need to increase the price of your products. If you can find other ways to cut costs, though, you can minimize the increase.

Free shipping may not be available for items of a certain size or weight, though, so check with your shipping provider to see what you’re able to offer this shipping option for.

You can click here to find out more about third-party shipping.


As the name suggests, the price that your customers will pay for shipping is dependent on the item’s weight. When shipping heavier items, though, this can quickly become an issue.

So, weight-based shipping is best suited for those whose products weigh very little. Stuffed animals, stickers, etc. are perfect for this situation.

Flat Rate

With flat shipping costs, the shipping is the same for all orders regardless of their size or weight.

In order to set this value accurately, you’re going to need to determine the average cost of shipping for your products. This will give you a number to use for the shipping price of everything your store offers.

While customers may find that your store’s lighter, smaller items are priced somewhat above average in shipping, larger, heavier items will likely be below average in shipping costs.

As with free shipping, you may need to increase the price of your products in order to make up for the extra costs you incur. This is particularly true if your most popular products cost you a sizable amount to ship.


The shipping cost will be determined by the cost of the item.

Since more expensive items often cost sellers more to ship, this pricing structure often counteracts the issue. But, it may not be best for those who offer products that vary little in size.

If it doesn’t make sense to your buyer why a more expensive item would cost more to ship than a cheaper item (especially if they’re the same size), you may want to explore other options. 

Understanding How to Determine Shipping Costs Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about how to determine shipping costs in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward maximizing your revenue and client satisfaction.

Want to learn more business tips that can help you out in the future? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

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