Ultimate Guide to Print-On-Demand Shipping Strategies

Ultimate Guide to Print-On-Demand Shipping Strategies

When considering selling products online, the importance of a savvy shipping strategy can’t be overstated. A well-organized shipping process is crucial for balancing cost efficiency with service quality, directly impacting profitability. 

This guide will dissect various delivery methods, from cost-effective practices to premium options, each tailored to fit the unique needs of POD businesses.

We’ll also explore the effectiveness of seasonal tactics, fine-tuning customer segmentation, and implementing strategic bundling to maximize your returns. Get ready to optimize your shipping strategy so customers can enjoy a seamless online ordering experience with minimal additional costs.

A Comprehensive Overview of Shipping Strategies

What sets apart a successful POD business? Often, it’s a mastery of delivery strategies that elevate customer satisfaction and profitability. In this section, we dive into various shipping methods, each offering unique benefits to your POD business.

Incorporating Shipping Into Product Pricing

Incorporating shipping costs into your product pricing is a nuanced shipping strategy that can streamline the eCommerce shipping experience and elevate the perceived value of your offers.



Offering Free Shipping

A delivery man holding a package that has “Free Shipping” written on it.

Free shipping is a powerful incentive in the eCommerce world. It addresses the modern consumer’s expectation for seamless online shopping experiences. However, the challenge lies in leveraging free shipping without diminishing profit margins.



Balancing act:

Quick Tip

When expanding free shipping offers globally, it's crucial to navigate the intricacies of international shipping with transparency. Communicating who is responsible for additional fees like customs and duties upfront can prevent customer dissatisfaction and maintain trust.

Tiered Shipping Rates

A person stacking up coins and wooden blocks in towers.

Tiered shipping is a strategic move for an eCommerce business aiming to increase its average order value. This approach adjusts shipping costs based on the total purchase amount, creating a powerful incentive for customers to buy more.



Balancing act:

Make It Happen Today!

Printify's Shipping Options and How to Use Them to Increase Profit

Now that we’ve navigated through various eCommerce shipping solutions, let’s take a look at the specific shipping choices available at Printify – one of the best POD companies in 2024 – and its shipping partners. 

We’ll unpack how each shipping strategy can be used to cater to different customer preferences and increase your profits, especially with an eye on seasonal trends.

Quick Tip

We recommend providing all the delivery methods to maximize your reach and cater to every customer's needs. By embracing the full spectrum of choices we've outlined, you'll connect with a wider audience, appealing to shoppers with varying priorities and preferences.

Economy Shipping: The Cost-Effective Solution for Price-Sensitive Customers

Economy Shipping emerges as a beacon for businesses aiming to captivate price-sensitive customers without urgent delivery needs.

It is cleverly designed for eCommerce shipping strategies looking to balance cost-efficiency with customer satisfaction. Starting at $3.99, it’s a fully tracked, reliable service that promises to deliver across the United States within 4-8 business days

While it might trail slightly behind Standard Shipping in speed, it compensates with up to 15% savings, making it an attractive offer for both new and regular customers who prioritize cost over shipping delays.

Why Economy Shipping?

  • Lower delivery costs – With rates starting at $3.99, it significantly reduces shipping expenses, boosting your revenue.
  • Competitive edge – Offering customer-focused pricing without compromising quality can set you apart from competitors.
  • Customer satisfaction – Adding more shipping alternatives caters to a broader customer base, meeting varied shipping needs and preferences.
  • Business growth – Targeting price-conscious shoppers expands your customer base and eCommerce business reach.


Currently, Economy Shipping is available exclusively for Etsy sellers and those processing orders manually in the US, but plans are underway to expand this shipping option to more platforms and countries.

To enhance your eCommerce shipping strategy, take a look at our Help Center article How Can I Enable Economy Shipping?

Standard Shipping: The Balanced Approach for Everyday Orders

Standard Shipping strikes a harmonious balance between cost and delivery speed, making it the ideal choice for regular online shopping. It caters to a broad spectrum of businesses seeking the best shipping strategy for customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

This eCommerce shipping method is tailored for those prioritizing a middle ground, offering reliable delivery times at reasonable packaging costs without the urgency of Express Shipping.

Why Standard Shipping?

  • Cost-efficiency – Standard Shipping is a budget-friendly alternative to Express Delivery, reducing extra costs while maintaining reasonable delivery times.
  • Widespread availability – Accessible across all sales channels and Print Providers, it ensures that your products reach customers regardless of location, including international shipments.
  • Flexibility – With options to upgrade to Priority Shipping, you can offer customers the choice to fast-track their orders for an additional fee, enhancing customer service.
  • Custom packaging inserts – This option also allows for custom packaging inserts, enabling you to elevate the unboxing experience without significantly impacting delivery costs or times.

Standard Shipping is an effective way to meet customer expectations for flat-rate shipping, offering a clear and straightforward pricing structure that can simplify decision-making for buyers.

Express Shipping: Fast-Tracking eCommerce Success

Express Delivery shines as Printify’s swift solution for eCommerce businesses needing to expedite orders, especially during the peak of the holiday season or enticing special promotions. This shipping option is not just a luxury but a necessity for catering to the modern shopper’s expectation of quick delivery.

Why Expedited Shipping?

  • Boost sales – Implementing Express Shipping to meet the demand for faster delivery options has proven to enhance customer purchasing decisions. Quicker shipping availability sways over 60% of shoppers, making it a significant lever to increase conversion rates.
  • Seasonal advantage – During holiday seasons, two-day shipping becomes an invaluable tool for capturing the last-minute shopper market, ensuring gifts and purchases arrive just in time, no matter the total cost.
  • Competitive edge – Offering Express Shipping places your eCommerce platform on par with major retailers, providing a comparable shopping experience that will encourage customers to return for more.

Cost efficiency and product selection

While Express Shipping is a premium service, it’s structured to be cost-effective. Starting at $7.99, with a modest increase for additional items, merchants can offer fast delivery without excessive shipping costs.


Currently, it's available for popular products like Bella+Canvas 3001 and Gildan 5000 t-shirts in top-selling colors, exclusively for the mainland US.

Operational excellence

Orders eligible for Express Shipping are expedited, with dedicated fulfillment centers ensuring quality remains a top priority. This quality promise doesn’t compromise the product’s integrity, ensuring swift delivery without sacrificing excellence.

Expanding your market

Whether you’re a newly sprouted online store or an established enterprise, it lets you appeal to a broad audience, including people who buy online at the last minute and who are more likely to purchase with the promise of quick delivery.

Want to see real-life examples? Read How Printify Express Delivery Grows Your Business.

Priority Shipping: Finding the Middle Ground

Priority Shipping strikes the perfect balance between the speed of Express Shipping and the cost-effectiveness of Standard Shipping, offering a solution for businesses aiming to meet varied customer demands for speed without incurring higher costs.

This method is especially beneficial for eCommerce shipping strategies that require flexibility in shipping rates and speed, catering to customers who value quicker delivery but are also mindful of costs.

Distinguishing Priority From Express Shipping

While Express Shipping focuses on the fastest delivery possible, Priority Shipping emphasizes a speedy delivery that doesn’t compromise efficiency or cost. It doesn’t accelerate the order processing or production phases but shortens the delivery timeline, offering a significant advantage for businesses and consumers alike.

Why Priority Shipping?

  • Enhanced satisfaction – By providing an option that’s faster than Standard but more cost-effective than Express, eCommerce platforms can cater to a broader audience, enhancing the overall customer shopping experience.
  • Increased flexibility – Priority Shipping allows businesses to offer free shipping or flat rate shipping options on selected products, improving the attractiveness of their shipping offer and potentially reducing cart abandonment.
  • Optimized for domestic and international shipments –  Whether it’s local or more complex international delivery, Priority Shipping adapts to various needs, including managing shipping labels and shipping carriers.

Implementing Priority Shipping in your eCommerce shipping strategy

To integrate Priority Shipping effectively, consider it part of broader eCommerce shipping solutions. This method fits perfectly within a tiered shipping strategy, where customers are offered different delivery options based on their urgency and budget. 

It’s also crucial to clearly communicate the availability of Priority Shipping, especially for international shipments where customers might be looking for a balance between shipping speed and cost.

It presents an opportunity for eCommerce platforms to fine-tune their delivery strategies, ensuring they can provide competitive shipping prices, maintain healthy margins, and still meet the expedited delivery expectations of their customers.

Make It Happen Today!

Maximizing Sales and Profits With Strategic Shipping

A woman working on her eCommerce shipping strategy.

By aligning delivery strategies with eCommerce shipping solutions, businesses can significantly influence buying behavior, cater to diverse customer needs, and optimize their eCommerce shipping strategy for maximum impact.

Seasonal Strategies

Leveraging seasonal trends is key to capturing the attention of both last-minute shoppers and cost-conscious buyers. Promoting Express Shipping options during the holiday rush caters to those in urgent need of gifts and items, ensuring timely delivery for these high-stakes purchases. 

Post-holiday, shifting focus to Economy Shipping can attract less time-sensitive and more price-aware buyers, expanding your customer base and maintaining steady shipping volume even in off-peak times.

Customer Segmentation

Effective customer segmentation allows for the personalization of shipping offers. Businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty by identifying different customer groups, such as premium shoppers, and offering them exclusive shipping options like Express Shipping. 

This tailored approach ensures delivery strategies align with customer expectations, encouraging repeat business and fostering a strong connection between the brand and its customers.

Bundling Products

Encouraging customers to make larger purchases through bundled offers is a proven strategy to increase average order value and reduce shipping costs per item. You can encourage customers to buy more, effectively boosting sales and optimizing shipping efficiency. 

This strategy enhances the customer’s perceived value and significantly impacts the eCommerce business’s bottom line by maximizing profits through strategic shipping methods.

Shipping Strategy FAQ

A shipping strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how stores manage the delivery of their products to customers who order online. It includes the selection of a third-party shipping carrier and delivery rates and the choice of shipping methods, all aimed at optimizing the balance between cost, speed, and customer satisfaction. 

An efficient shipping strategy can significantly impact an eCommerce platform’s profits, sales trends, and overall competitiveness in the market.

Determining what to charge involves carefully analyzing your shipping prices, customer expectations, and market standards. Options include:

  • Offering free shipping, possibly by incorporating delivery costs into prices or setting a minimum order value.
  • Offering flat rate shipping, where all orders are charged the same shipping fee. This simplifies the online shopping experience for customers.
  • Charging real-time carrier rates, which reflect the actual cost of shipping based on the customer’s location and destination country and the package weight and dimensions.

Each approach has its advantages and can be selected based on your eCommerce shipping strategy and goals, such as boosting sales, improving buyer satisfaction, or optimizing profit margins.

To offer free shipping without wearing away your profits, consider these strategies:

  • Increase product prices slightly to cover delivery costs, leaving you with healthy profits.
  • Set a minimum order threshold that qualifies for free shipping, encouraging larger purchases.
  • Offer free shipping as a promotional tool during specific periods or for certain products to boost sales and attract customers.
  • Offer free returns if the item received is faulty.

Implementing free delivery requires balancing the appeal to customers with the financial implications for your business, making it a pivotal aspect of your eCommerce shipping solutions.

Implementing flat-rate shipping involves setting a single, fixed cost for global and local delivery, shipping any order, regardless of size, weight, or destination. This method simplifies the shipping process for both the business and its customers by offering transparency and predictability in shipping costs. 

  • Analyze your average shipping costs to determine a fair and sustainable flat rate that covers most scenarios.
  • Communicate the flat rate clearly to your customers through your eCommerce platform and marketing materials.
  • Consider using shipping carriers that offer flat-rate shipping options to streamline your logistics.


Skilled shipping strategies are the key to print-on-demand eCommerce triumph. Optimizing delivery costs, embracing free and flat rate options, and leveraging Printify’s tailored shipping solutions are essential to heighten customer satisfaction and amplify profits from people shopping online. 

Strategic adaptation to customer preferences, from Economy to Express Shipping, along with smart seasonal and segmentation tactics, can greatly boost your business’s performance. Hopefully, this guide gave you the insights needed to refine your shipping approach, creating a streamlined shopping experience that promotes loyalty and escalates sales.

Make It Happen Today!

Share the article



Write a comment