How to properly configure

Shipping methods and costs in online shops

Various boxes with logo stacked in a warehouse

@Toby Stodart, Unsplash

Online shops are booming like never before. We know what we're talking about ūüėČ One topic that keeps popping up is this: Shipping the goods. What shipping providers are there? How are shipping costs calculated? How do I store the costs correctly in my online shop system? And much more.¬†

Basically, it's a good idea to ask ourselves these questions, since we've already configured everything from beer mugs( to Crossfit tank tops( for online shipping.

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Selection of the delivery service and negotiation of prices

In Austria, the providers Post, GLS and DPD are available for standard goods. You can get an offer from these providers. There is no standard here. Each of our customers has different contracts with shipping service providers and negotiates up to which weight and in which country which flat rate applies. Depending on the shipping volume, you can also get different conditions.

GLS, Post, DPD

You usually get a table that looks something like this:

(exemplary table)

Once the cost of the shipping provider is determined, you can move on to the next phase: Configuration

Configuration of the shipping costs in Woocommerce

In the settings, you first determine to which countries shipping will be possible and whether there will be flat shipping rates, or the option "Free delivery".

Screenshot Woocommerce


Variant 1: Calculation by weight and country:

Here, a weight is stored for each product, which is used for the calculation. WooCommerce offers e.g. the possibility under "Shipping" - "Weight Based Shipping". Here it is defined what it costs when products are in the cart, for example, have a total of 2kg. These values must then be set accordingly for each country, because shipping abroad is certainly more expensive than within Austria.


2. flat rate by country and value in the shopping cart

If the products are of relatively equal value, such as wines, you can also set a flat rate for shipping.

Screenshot for setting the flat rate for shipping

From an order value of ‚ā¨ 50,00 the shipping is free of charge.

Screenshot Woocommerce settings for free delivery

The alternative to shipping: on-site pickup

Many online store operators also offer on-site pickup as an alternative to shipping, also known as "Click & Collect". This option has become increasingly popular with users during the lockdowns. The goods are ready when you arrive, and you save on delivery costs. As an online shop operator, you must not forget to store real opening hours or to place them clearly visible on the website. 

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Another tip: sendcloud

The simple shipping software for the digital generation of shipping labels and tracking codes

What we recently discovered in our ongoing research is "sendcloud". This shipping software connects to the online store and takes away the hassle of standing in line at the post office. Shipping labels including tracking codes can be generated automatically and the software can also be used for returns. In addition, specially negotiated conditions with the most common shipping service providers already come with and these prices are often better than self-negotiated contracts.

You can find all info about it here:


@rosebox, Unsplash

Frequently asked questions about shipping in online shops

VAT on shipping costs

The answer is: "Yes". Shipping service providers also take 20% VAT for their price. So if you spend a total price in the online shop that includes shipping costs, you must also include the VAT of the costs of the shipping service provider.

Can I use multiple shipping providers?

Yes, of course you can store multiple shipping providers. Many users have preferences in this regard and like to choose themselves.

Do shipping costs always only include postal charges?

Usually a flat rate is set here and this consists of the postal charges and a surcharge for packaging and handling. Optimally, this flat rate is referred to as "packaging and shipping" or just "shipping".

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We have already gained a lot of experience in the implementation of online shops. Every project has its pitfalls, but we always find a good and above all correct solution. Here are a few online shops that we have successfully implemented:

Julia Krennhuber Gomes
Published 29.01.2021
Written by:
Julia Krennhuber Gomes

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