What are the Best Shipping Methods and How to choose the best one

A shipping method is how goods purchased on a Web Site are delivered to customers. Shipping Methods are the carriers and services used to send your products.

Once you’ve added products to your store you need to choose and configure which shipping methods you want to use. This article will explain what shipping methods are and how to choose which shipping methods are available to your customers. It also details how you can configure each shipping module as needed.

If you sell physical products online then you will need to choose and configure at least one shipping method before your customers can buy from you. Shipping methods allow you to define how a customer receives the products they buy from your store. There are two different types of shipping methods. These types are mutually exclusive which means if you choose one then you cannot choose or enable the other:

Real-time shipping quotes.

When visitor purchases an item from your website they can receive real-time shipping quotes that are retrieved shipping rates in real-time from shipping companies. For example, if your online store is enabled and configured for UPS real-time shipping method then when it comes time for a customer to check out and buy from your store, customers will see a list of real-time shipping quotes that are retrieved from UPS based on the weight and physical dimensions of the products they are trying to buy.

Fixed shipping methods

All fixed shipping methods are priced and configured from the shipping settings page and they do not need to retrieve shipping quotes from third parties, which makes them faster than using real-time shipping methods. You can choose and configure different shipping methods for you store by clicking on the Settings menu and then manually adjust the Shipping Settings options. Shipping Settings page, which allows you to configure not only shipping methods, but also other shipping settings, including:

  • Your location. All real-time shipping methods require you to enter your complete address from the Your Location section of the Shipping Settings page. When it comes time for a customer to choose a shipping method, both your location and their location are passed back to the third party shipping providers (such as UPS or FedEx) so that they can generate an accurate shipping quote.
  • Available countries. You can restrict which countries you will ship to by selecting the countries from the Available Countries list. If a customer tries to ship an order to a country that isn’t available then he/she will be told that your store doesn’t ship to that country.
  • Free shipping. If you tick the Yes, enable free shipping options checkbox and click Save, you will see a new tab that allows you to configure free shipping options for your store. You can specify a dollar amount, and once a customer’s order total reaches that dollar amount they will qualify for free shipping
  • Handling settings. You can add an optional handling fee to each order and you can choose whether to show the handling fee as a separate cost or instead bundle it into the shipping cost.

 Types of Shipping Methods

On the Shipping Settings page you will also see the Shipping Methods box, which lists all available shipping methods. To enable a shipping method, just follow these simple steps:


  • Click the checkbox for the shipping method you want to enable from the Shipping Methods box
  • Click the Save button
  • You will now see that a tab appears for the shipping method you enabled
  • Click on the new tab and you will be able to configure the selected shipping method. A full step-by-step help guide is shown on the page which explains everything from creating an account with the shipping company to filling out the shipping companies details:


Business Customer Gateway: this portal provides a single entry point for the Postal Services’ online business services. Design and prepare your shipping, with tools like Intelligent Mail Small Business. Access mail and transport systems, get tracking, reporting tools, and find help at customer support.


Small Business Solutions: Access tools to manage small business shipping. Set pickups, monitor shipments, provide an easy-to-access returns process. Expand your business capabilities with advanced logistics. Get started by taking a logistics check-up.


Small Business Solutions: Learn how DHL can support you and how easy it is to start shipping. Browse through helpful advice and information on shipping and trading internationally.


Small Business Shipping Solutions: Find solutions to help your small business ship within the U.S. and internationally. Schedule a pickup, get rates and transit times, find a location, order shipping supplies, and manage all your shipping activity. Choose from online tools, mobile applications, and integration services.


The shipping price affects the customer’s decision when purchasing goods from an Online Store. If the shipping price is too high, the customer will likely cancel his or her order.

A shipping company guarantees customer satisfaction and has good, general feedback. Feedback and customer satisfaction are important for an Online Store. This helps ensure an Online Stores ability to provide and guarantee their end of customer support. However once the item has been shipped, all pleasantries can become easily jeopardized by bad attitude and support from the shipping company towards the customer.

A successful choice of logistics provider should maximize and even improve an Online Store’s profitability without sacrificing its credibility through customer care. UPS provides just that and is an easily justified logistical solution that is well suited for an Online Store’s environment and requirements.