5.4 Determining your shipping policy

There are 3 kinds of shipping you can adopt:


  • Flat rate shipping

Flat rate is usually the standard for new businesses. For example, you may set $8 for domestic shipping and $12 for international orders. However, customers might be turned off by this especially for those with lower order values.


  • Free shipping above a certain amount

Most companies in the industry use this method to meet customers halfway. Customers will purchase more to meet the minimum order so that they can get free shipping.


  • Free shipping based on location

This is for companies who are capable of absorbing the delivery charges to provide free shipping within a territory. Larger companies, like ASOS and Boohoo, are able to provide this service in the UK because they have the scale. While it entices customers, this would be difficult to achieve for a new brand.


Setting your shipping charges will differ from courier to courier. It usually depends on the weight/size of the package, distance travelled and time.


Every postal service will have its own shipping calculator, a quick internet search of “(delivery service provider) shipping calculator” should give you a few examples. Alternatively, you can set up a shipping calculator directly into your website by looking for the plugin of your web software. To provide a fully professional service, provide tracking numbers and insurance. Although this will increase the cost, it would certainly help in the situation if the parcel is lost or damaged.


While domestic postage should not be too complicated, shipping internationally will defer according to location. Smaller companies usually start with shipping to certain territories first before attempting worldwide shipping


For example, FashionNova only has express shipping internationally to Canada, UK, Germany, France and Australia. For other countries, only standard shipping rates are available.