Ensuring Accurate Shipping on your Ecommerce Site

I’ve had many clients call in about how they received an order that did not calculate shipping correctly, or not at all.  Most times the reason behind these issues is that the customer mistyped some information or put it in a format that doesn’t match how you set up your shipping type. Below are some tips to ensure that your customers do not run into shipping issues.

 

Restrict Manual Input
We’re all human and humans make mistakes, more often than we would like to admit, but it happens.  So by taking out the human element as much as possible in your checkout process, the more likely you are to get accurate shipping information for each and every one of your orders.  For example, instead of allowing your customers to manually input their shipping state or country, let the Cart create a drop down box with that information.  Not only does that take out mistakes by error prone individuals, like myself, it also allows the shipping address to match how you’ve set up your shipping type.

 

Hide Shipping Types
If you have multiple shipping types that may be used depending on the shipping information, I would suggest hiding shipping types that don’t return a cost.  Let’s say you have two USPS real time shipping types setup, USPS Priority Mail and First Class Mail.  Let’s also say Joe Shmo orders an item off your site that weighs 10 pounds and has a shipping location that qualifies him for both Priority Mail and First Class Mail. The Priority Mail shipping type will return a weight, but the First Class Mail won’t because the max weight for first class mail is 13oz. 

 

This is where the potential problem arises. If you don’t have your First Class Mail shipping type to only show if the weight of the cart is less than or equal to 13oz or to hide shipping type if no rate is returned, that shipping type will still be able to be selected.  So for Joe Shmo, he will have a cost for Priority Mail, but no cost for first class.  Joe will then be able to select the shipping method that did not have a rate and not be charged shipping.

 

So there you go, a couple of tips to help alleviate any of your shipping woes.  Also, check out this knowledgebase article.  It will help you with the settings I’ve mentioned in this post:

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