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How e-commerce shipping works for small businesses

How e-commerce shipping works for small businesses

Expanding your brick-and-mortar to include online shopping is an exciting venture. Part of the thrill comes from incorporating essential components, like shipping, to create positive and memorable moments for the customer. One way to do this is by finding the right e-commerce shipping option(s) that align with your business model and goals. 

What is e-commerce shipping?

E-commerce shipping is the process of transferring of products ordered online from a retailer to a customer. The goal is to establish an efficient and cost effective process to deliver e-commerce shipments within a promised timeframe, so e-commerce shipping often involves large fulfillment and distribution centers for mature and high-volume online retailers. 

Benefits of moving from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce

In today's digital age, more consumers are swapping the traditional experience for online shopping. Economists expect e-commerce to reach profits of $4 trillion by 2025. While retaining a brick-and-mortar does have benefits, moving your business online can broaden your brand’s reach, provide product access outside regular operating hours, and help you remain competitive.   

E-commerce shipping options for small businesses

Delivery Methods:

FedEx has several options including, FedEx Overnight, FedEx 2Day®, FedEx Ground®, and FedEx Express Saver®. After looking more closely into these delivery services, you’ll need to choose whether you’re providing customers multiple shipping options or if you’ll stick with ground shipping. Then, head to your nearest FedEx Office® to ship or go online and schedule a daily pick-up. Once you've sent the package(s), supply the tracking number to your customer via email.

Shipping Costs:

After you decide on the delivery methods, you can estimate the corresponding shipping rate at check-out. You can also consider whether you want to offer free shipping. Eighty-eight percent of consumers prefer shopping from websites advertising free shipping. Of course, shipping isn't free to your business, so you'll need to think about balancing the cost. You can build the fees into your product’s price, offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount, or supplement the expenses yourself.

Another idea is offering your consumers multiple shipping options. For those shoppers who don’t mind waiting several days, you could provide free ground shipping within the U.S. Alternatively, give them an express paid option if they want it faster. Ninety percent of shoppers are willing to wait longer if it’s free.


Add to your overall customer experience with uniquely branded packaging. Personalizing packaging costs more, but it will set your brand apart.

Help your products reach your customers safely by using bubble wrap or padded paper. Packing tightly prevents items from getting jostled in transit. Finish up by printing your shipping labels.


Processing returns is an inevitable part of operating an e-commerce retail business. Keep things as easy as possible. An inconvenient process may turn shoppers off from purchasing from you again, and it may even lead to bad reviews. To make things simple, ship products in reusable packaging and offer free ground returns. Ninety-five percent of shoppers who have a positive return experience say they'll shop from the brand again.