Magento Shipping: Mission Possible

By | Mar 13, 2015

Business success is like a puzzle – has a lot of pieces and cannot be composed even if the one of them is missing. Is your business scheme so well-thought that you got everything under control on every stage from buying goods to delivering them to your customer? By the way, delivery is probably the most challenging step to handle and a lot of entrepreneurs fail to succeed because of a wrong approach. So, let’s talk shipping and delivery & Magento stores.

Where does it all begin? A customer wants to buy something from you. And dozens of factors about that ‘something’ are influencing his decision – whether it weight, color, shape, taste, guarantee or price. And while you can’t do anything about your client wishing there were green microwaves, you still have a powerful leverage – price.

I assume a lot of your stores have a big regional coverage or you may even work internationally. In that case, your price highly depends on shipping costs. There are a lot of well-known, respected and reliable shipping carriers like DHL, UPS, USPS, FedEx, and I’m sure your Magento offers their delivery services too. The thing is, Magento standard configuration is getting the rates from carriers APIs live, – it’s extremely useful, although the final price that includes shipping costs can turn out disadvantageous for your accounting either way.

For example, imagine you have fragile or perishable goods to ship somewhere far away. So, your Magento UPS shipping API will count the delivery rate only while you have to package the difficult order, so it won’t be damaged or spoiled.

An international store means you’re obliged to pay taxes or follow certain rules to import the order on the territory of another country, so you will have to take care of it for a possible order from your Magento store via FedEx from Moscow.

As we were losing money in the examples above, what about situations, when unreasonably high prices scare off your potential customers?

An appreciable discount for locals will be good for your image and can bring significant profit. And how to get an accurate final price when carriers often overprice parcel and LTL freights for more than one item in an order?

I can give you a couple of dozen more examples, but it doesn’t change the fact that you should optimize delivery pricing for a sake of your business. So, what options do you have?

First of all, and I’m sure a lot of you do this, you can count average expenses and include them in advance.

Second, you might check the orders manually and revise every single one, informing a customer on a website that for example Magento FedEx shipping will be recalculated on certain conditions and the final price he’ll see in a confirmation email.

Third, you can do this enormous job just once, calculate all the surcharges, discounts, and rates and set some rules with the help of Magento Shipping Rules extension. The system will give a customer up-to-date accurate price including all the risks or taxes or expenses or vice versa – excluding some money from the final sum. No waiting, no overpricing, no losses and no unhappy customers. Pretty amazing, huh?

Shipping is a tough thing to handle, but you should never forget that success is when every piece is on its place and then the whole picture is beautiful altogether.

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