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Correct Shipping Calculations Crucial

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Saturday May 5, 2012 )

If your shipping calculator isn’t working properly, you could be losing a bunch of sales and not even know it.

I was shopping online for a vacuum cleaner recently and found a reasonable deal from a well known Australian retailer. Even the shipping cost was fine. I was about to purchase when I remembered to add some extra bags to my shopping cart.

These come in a very small pack and weigh under a pound. However, the shipping cost for 2 boxes of bags was going to be $36 – just a couple of bucks cheaper than the bags themselves!

These bags could likely have been put into the vacuum cleaner box. Even sent as a separate item via Australia Post’s *express* service, they would have cost $13 in shipping.

The company’s shipping calculator didn’t have a combined shipping feature, nor did it have the bags correctly associated with being an item that could be shipped via Australia Post.

To cut a long story short – I can purchase the vacuum and two boxes of bags for $26 cheaper from a competitor. What I would lose on the vacuum, I made up for on the bags and it can all be shipped together.

Shipping can make such a huge difference in turning browsers to buyers. There have been so many times when the sticker shock from freight has sent me clicking away from a merchant – and based on many studies; I’m certainly not the only one to have this reaction. Shipping costs are one of the major causes of shopping cart abandonment.

In another recent online shopping expedition, the difference between shipping rates between 2 merchants with warehouses in the same city offering similar pricing on identical products was staggering. One merchant’s cart said $200 for shipping, the other $650.

Don’t count on your potential customers calling to haggle or point out shipping calculation errors – be proactive; check on these things yourself.


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