3 Common eCommerce Shipping Mistakes to Avoid
May 01, 2021
by Rebecca Fox

Being familiar with the most common shipping mistakes that eCommerce merchants make and how to avoid them is the first step towards creating a shipping process that meets customer expectations and is cost-effective for you.

There is more to shipping than simply sending packages to customers. A good shipping process can drive more sales, improve your brand image, and increase customer loyalty.

3 Shipping Mistakes Many eCommerce Merchants Make

Shipping is one of the most important components of eCommerce. Due to the rapidly growing popularity of online shopping, customer expectations are rising. 

We’ve highlighted three common mistakes it’s easy to make when it comes to shipping, and how to avoid them in the future.

1. Not Paying Attention to Packaging

Your packaging is essential to pay attention to because it is your customers’ first physical contact with your store.

72% of customers believe that product packaging plays a crucial role in their purchasing decisions, with 81% seeing it as an important factor when buying gifts.

Show that you’re looking to be sustainable by avoiding mixed material packaging (such as plastics and paper) for easy recycling – something which is very important to customers.

Aesthetically-pleasing packaging can actually lead to more sales. Brightly colored packaging, tissue paper, and custom-printed boxes are more likely to be shared on social media, thereby reaching more people (aka potential customers).

1 in 5 customers admits to watching unboxing videos on YouTube or Instagram, which means many of your customers will see how your products are packaged before even visiting your website.

Another packaging issue to consider is the size of the boxes you use. One size does not fit all. Smaller packages are cheaper to ship, but if packaged incorrectly can compromise the contents’ protection. By adjusting the size of your packaging to the item you’re shipping, you save yourself money and reduce waste.

Using low-cost and low-quality materials can lead to breakages, resulting in your customers receiving a damaged product. Damaged products lead to more product returns and lost profit. Make sure your packaging will fully protect your products throughout the delivery process. 

By creating an exceptional shopping experience through your packaging, you build your brand and attract more customers that are looking for something special.

2. Not Regularly Comparing Shipping Costs

Save money by taking the time to research your shipping costs. Depending on the shipping carrier you use, you may be charged extra for things like weekend delivery, fuel surcharges, delivery signatures, and residential delivery charges. 

Understanding your shipping fees in advance ensures that you pay for exactly what you want.

You will find that shipping costs are constantly changing, and you may be able to find cheaper options as time goes on.

There are two ways to handle changing shipping costs:

  1. Constantly switch shipping carriers to avoid overpriced shipments.
  2. Speak to your current shipping carrier about matching the price you were offered.

Your current carrier is likely to want to keep your business and therefore is likely to match their competitor’s price. This is ideal as it’s much less complicated than constantly switching delivery services.

By keeping up to date with shipping costs, you can adjust your product prices accordingly, maintaining a good profit while offering your customers cheaper prices.

3. Not Outsourcing the Shipping Process

Efficiency is essential in the eCommerce world.

Many eCommerce stores choose to outsource order fulfillment to a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider. 3PLs can take over a wide range of your fulfillment services such as warehouse and inventory management, packing, shipping, and reverse logistics.

A full-service 3PL typically manages a network of warehouses and fulfillment centers, as well as supplying the labor, materials, and technological systems to fulfill online orders efficiently. 

Outsourcing your shipping process to a 3PL gives you access to advanced fulfillment capabilities that would be difficult or expensive to manage on your own.

Using a 3PL saves you time and money and provides higher-quality results.


Having a streamlined shipping process can help drive sales, create customer loyalty, and save time and money.

Everything from your package design to your shipping carrier can have a significant impact on your bottom line and on your customer experience.

Constantly keep looking for ways you can improve your shipping process and reduce costs.

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