Choosing the best shipping company for eCommerce isn’t always the easiest of tasks. You want to make sure that your product arrives in your customer's hands in perfect condition.
You want them to be impressed by the fast and efficient service.
You want to ensure that shipping costs fit into your budget, offer the right options when it comes to insurance, tracking and weight.
And if you can, you’d like the whole shipping experience to be as stress-free and as simple as possible.
So, where do you start? How do you know which eCommerce shipping solution to choose? Let us guide you through.
Questions you need to ask when choosing a shipping company
Making a decision about shipping should always be about weighing up the options available to you (literally!), considering how they fit with your overall vision for your product, reviewing your needs and considering anything else that might add value to the transaction between you and the customer.
Here are some of the key questions you need to ask:
- Where do I want my product shipping to?
- What products am I selling?
- How big is my order?
- How fast can they ship?
- Do you want to use tracking?
- Do I want integration?
- Do I want insurance?
Are you planning to ship your product solely within the UK, or are you willing to ship across Europe or internationally? This can affect your choice of eCommerce shipping company, the price and level of service available.
Many eCommerce businesses rely on a range of companies that provide the best service and affordability for each requirement.
If you’re shipping small items within the UK, we highly recommend Royal Mail. However, they can become more expensive when shipping to Europe and internationally so Parcelforce or shipping companies such as DPD or MyHermes are usually best.
Factors such as size, weight and dimensions of your product will also affect your choice of shipping company.
If your product is small or doesn’t weigh much, you can usually opt for Royal Mail. If it’s heavier, a company like Parcelforce or MyHermes might be a better option.
Also, check if you’re shipping delicate items or sensitive or delicate materials as there might be certain restrictions that influence who you can choose.
Many shipping companies offer deals for larger quantities so it’s worth asking before you commit.
Safe and speedy delivery is key when it comes to customer satisfaction, so check how quickly the shipping agent can send your product and how quickly it can be delivered. Often their delivery rates will depend on your requirements in this area.
Modern customers appreciate knowing when their item has been shipped and when it can be expected. Adding this extra service for free or for an additional charge can greatly improve customer satisfaction.
You can streamline your business by choosing a shipping company which integrates with your eCommerce site flawlessly. Many offer integration for Shopify, WooCommerce, eBay, Amazon and other similar sites. Features include real-time shipping rates to improve customer trust and allow your customer to feel more in control of the buying experience.
It’s always worth offering the customer the option of insurance wherever possible or including it for free with your service.
Shipping companies to consider
There’s a growing number of shipping companies in the UK which offer a range of different delivery times, prices, guarantees and other add-ons. The following are the ones our UK eCommerce customers rate most highly:
Royal Mail is a reliable, cost-effective and fast option for posting within the UK.
Offering same day, next day and 2-3 business day delivery, they’ll even offer compensation if they’re later than expected, although the amount does depend on which shipping option you choose.
Even the 2nd class postage system is reliable and relatively fast, which could help keep costs down and leaving you with a happy customer at the end.
Although Parcelforce does tend to be more expensive, they’re reliable, offer a range of UK services and can carry larger items with maximum weights up to 30kg.
They also offer great flat rates, offer a loyalty scheme which can reduce business costs further and can even ship internationally.
If you’re looking for great website integration, national and international delivery and even delivery on Sundays, you should consider DPD.
Highlights include their easy tracking service, great customer support and the fact they can ship items up to a generous 31.5kg.
MyHermes provides a reliable and feature-rich eCommerce shipping experience which includes full tracking, automatic fulfilment and free insurance cover up to a value of £20.
Integrating with Shopify, eBay, Amazon, Volo, Zen Stores and more, you can ask them to collect from your address or one of their locations and they’ll do the rest for you. You can also use them to post internationally and they offer discounted rates for businesses.
There are many excellent shipping companies in the UK that can help you fulfil your orders, keep your customers happy and continue to build your business. Consider your requirements and budget then take time to explore the shipping companies we’ve suggested here and you’re sure to find the perfect solution for your business.