Understanding of shipping configuration on eBay and Opencart
Your customer’s experience in the online selling world is mostly managed by you, be it writing the description, the product images, writing the emails and so on, but the most important aspect of customer experience is highlighted when the shipping happens that is when you need to be the most careful and provide the customer with the best services without delay or inconvenience, your shipping strategy needs to be on point. If shipping is done right it can help you retain and gain customers. It should be transparent and conveyed rightly to your customers how much they will be charged and how much time it will take to receive their order. The most successful sellers use strategic shipping options to differentiate themselves from their competition and increase profit margins.
Let’s look at the important factors that are considered while the shipping calculations are done:
In an online selling, the first question is asked while doing checkout is to where to ship. Based on the shipping address, the store automatically calculates shipping charges as per the shipping configurations. Shipping can be defined as local, domestic and international. The local region where the seller is based out normally fall under free shipping. Some sellers do nationwide(domestic) free shipping and some charges differently based on the products they are selling. Shipping carriers charge higher rates for international shipping and they update their prices regularly. eBay and Opencart have it integrated with their store for international shipping. With Easystorehosting, you can enable all the known shipping carriers as well as you can define countrywide shipping options for example if you have a main store in the USA and a branch office in the UK, you can define separate lower rate for the UK as international shipping and different rates for the rest of the world and USA. This way you can cover both country’s local market. Shipping configuration is the most crucial part. If not set correctly, you might have to compromise with your profit margin paying extra charges from your pocket. That is why Easystorehosting strongly believes in don't-do-it-yourself concept and we actually work for customers to set up this kind of critical configurations too.
Weight is one of the important criteria in shipping calculation after the distance. Sellers who are selling heavyweight items like shoes, repairing tools, pottery items etc, they should consider weight as their main aspect for shipping calculations.
The size helps you define your package class for shipping and directly affects the rates. Your package dimensions establish space needed and give an idea of the density of your freight, which tells a carrier how easy it is to break and may also impact your rates. Products like a pillow, photo frame, lamps etc fall under this category where the weight is light but takes more space while delivering, therefore, will charge based on the dimension of the box.
The item types can be perishable, fragile or hazardous could result in higher rates since they often need special equipment, insurance, handling, and storage. For example mobile, laptop, tablet, camera, watches, jewelry etc.
Now you know the important factors to consider in shipping calculations. With the right kind of preparation, you can be more than prepared to find the most competitive rates and make the best decisions for your online business.
Common Shipping configuration on eBay and Opencart
You are free to choose any shipping services on eBay but they have integrated below three major carriers in their marketplace. It is also available in Opencart as an Extension. The shipping rates automatically calculate on checkout if you have chosen these carriers as your shipping option. Please note that on eBay, you can not cross box when sending your order. For example, if your customer has selected UPS as the shipping option then you can not send the order in FedEx box via UPS. It is against their policy.
The USPS (United States Postal Service) is a postal service agency of the United States government. USPS does more than just delivering letters and it is the most favorite service for online sellers because of it’s convenience. If you are in the USA, you will always find a post office nearby. But please note that to have it integrated into your Opencart store, you would have to register for their web tools. Normal account with USPS will not work.
If you are selling larger or heavier items, UPS is the best option. They also have a special pricing program in which you can avail discounts on eBay.
FedEx offers various service for domestic as well as for international. It is well known for the expedited delivering services.
Challenges in eBay and Opencart shipping configurations and how to overcome it:
eBay encourage their sellers to use their integrated shipping carriers for smooth transactions. But some sellers prefer to use other affordable shipping providers to cut the cost and keep their price low on eBay from the competitor sellers. And eBay is okay with it if you want to use other shipping carriers than the listed.
Now, how all these carriers work. All the shipping carriers calculate their charges based on the package weight, size, and distance. Opencart has an inbuilt extension to add the manual rates on per weight or per item for all the zones/countries(Please note that you can only select one zone/country or all the zones for the shipping configuration). The storefront will then automatically calculates shipping charges on checkout, based on your shipping configuration and product data. In eBay, to do so, you would have to add the shipping rates manually in the fixed shipping cost. So basically, eBay has per listing shipping configuration and Opencart has the store wise shipping configuration. You can set free shipping, flat rate shipping or shipping carriers on eBay on listing insertion. You can set some products for free shipping and for some products you can charge fix flat rate or UPS, USPS or FedEx. While on Opencart you have shipping options like free shipping, flat rate, weight-based or per item based shipping which you can configure for the whole store and not on any particular product.
If you are selling independently on any one of these platforms, then you do not need to worry. But the problem will arise when you will expand your online business channel or the shipping rates will be revised. It will get difficult to link your eBay store with your Opencart store or any other store because both the store have a different level of shipping configurations. Plus, if the shipping carrier revises the rates, you will have to go into each listing on eBay and change it manually.
Sellers when they start an online store, they might not have full knowledge and as they go along, they realize that they have done many things wrong but they have come a long way where to fix those mistakes would harm more. So they compromise with it and let it go. With a unique concept of Don’t-do-it-yourself, Easystorehosting helps sellers to come out of such situation and always standby to work on seller’s store. You can create an online store and import your eBay listings. Our dedicated support assistant will set up the eBay shipping or will help you to configure the best shipping option for your store and you can start selling immediately on your own domain name along with eBay.