Shipping Modules

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Shipping is a necessary aspect of any online business. Shipping modules automate the entire shipping process. They can calculate rates for various shipping entities (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.) based on zip code. They can automatically print shipping labels. They can automatically provide customers with tracking information. They can make your life as an e-commerce shop owner much, much easier.

Many shopping cart packages include simple shipping modules for domestic services. However, not all shopping carts come complete with shipping modules. In the latter case, one will need to determine what kind of shipping modules works best for their business. As an example, osCommerce shipping modules can connect directly with United States Postal Service and United Parcel Service servers, which provide to-the-penny accurate rate charges. Or, perhaps it's in your company's best interest to create "flat fee" shipping charges. Whichever you decide, consistency is key.

Shipping Modules: Automatic, Accurate, Fair

Automatic, accurate, and fair shipping rates are critical. Automation is vital because time is money. Time you're not spending calculating product weight, adding up shipping charges, contacting customers with tracking information and more, means less time spent on each transaction. Less time spent on each transaction equals more profit. Accuracy is important, because your costs must be covered. Fairness is mandatory, because consumers can smell an inflated shipping rate a mile off and instantly abandon an otherwise sure-purchase.

Shipping modules typically need to be purchased specific to shipping companies. For instance, a FedEx module is an entity distinct from a UPS module. Some US shipping modules contain a combo pack, if you will, which includes USPS and the overnight provider of your choice. International shipping modules are available as well. Enhanced options can provide customers with automatic e-mails listing tracking information and expected date of package arrival. Shipping is the final stage of every customer transaction. Having a reliable shipping system helps ensure the transaction ends on a positive note, which can help bring customers back again and again.

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