You could make the case that the backbone of e-commerce is shipping. If it were not for the ability to ship purchased goods directly from your inventory to your customer’s door, people wouldn’t bother shopping online. They would keep going to their local big-box retailers to purchase what they needed. Knowing that, it is important for Shopify retailers to get shipping right.
Shopify announced a deal with Sendle last summer, a nationwide courier aggregator that can arrange for door-to-door shipping anywhere in Australia. Assuming your business is located either in Canada or the US, Sendle is not available to you. But you have other choices as explained below.
Standard Shopify Shipping
The Shopify platform offers standard shipping to stores based in the US and Canada. Standard shipping utilizes either the US postal system or Canada Post, as appropriate. Retailers can purchase postage and printing labels right from within the Shopify admin, then deliver packages to the local post office or arrange for pickup.
Why use standard shipping? Because it offers Shopify users reduced postal rates. Simply put, you pay less through Shopify shipping than you would by going directly to the post office yourself. Why spend more money than you have to?
To ship through Shopify shipping, you simply purchase a shipping label from the fulfilment page of any order. Labels can be printed on standard format shipping labels or plain paper. Retailers who choose plain paper should use either packing tape or a packing sleeve to protect labels from the weather. Just affix the label to the package and send it on its way.
For the record, you have to set up your printer in the Shipping settings before you can purchase and print shipping labels. You will also have to choose a label format during the setup process.
Some Shopify retailers offer on-demand delivery in addition to standard shipping. On-demand delivery makes it possible for you to get products into the hands of customers more quickly. In order to use on-demand delivery, it must be activated in the Shipping settings of your Shopify admin.
Right now, on-demand delivery is available only through two services:
- Postmates – Delivers in more than a dozen major US metropolitan areas including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, and Washington DC.
- UberRUSH – Only available in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago at this time.
You are likely disappointed if on-demand delivery is not available in your local area. But hang in there. The growing on-demand economy is increasing the need for local courier services with every passing quarter. It is probably just a matter of time before on-demand delivery is available in your area.
Shipping is the backbone of your e-commerce enterprise. Make sure you keep your customers happy by getting them the goods they purchase on time and at a fair price. Shopify makes it easy by offering shipping right within their platform. You can take your shipping outside of Shopify, but what would be the point of that?