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Are your shipping methods and policies affecting your conversions?

conversion rates on ecommerce website can be improved by offering free delivery

Are your shipping methods and policies affecting your conversions?

Any group of online consumers will probably tell you that their biggest reason for abandoning their shopping cart is due to shipping costs, but sometimes it’s about more than simply the cost of delivery.

The methods and policies retailers use to despatch orders also play a huge role when it comes to customer satisfaction. We’re talking about everything from the estimated delivery dates, logistics, and the couriers you use, to even the way orders are packed.
As for shipping practices, thinking very carefully about the needs and preferences of your customers will help you to build a strong customer base, establish trust, and retain brand loyalty over time, which is why we’ve come up with the following eCommerce tips for shipping:

Choose your parcel carrier wisely

Most consumers will have a personal preference in terms of couriers and delivery services, and usually this comes down to how these companies deliver their packages. What happens when something is too big for the letterbox – will it be left in a safe, secure place, with a neighbour, or outside on your doorstep come rain, wind or shine? Are the staff conscientious enough to knock on their door, or can they not even be trusted to do that? To override this concern, a growing number of online retailers are now using a multiple carrier shipping solution.

Delivery times – get it right

Many eCommerce companies assume that if customers choose the free shipping option with their order, they’ll probably be okay with waiting a week or more for their orders. Wrong. Most shoppers actually expect their orders to be packed and sent off within one business day – and they also like to know how long delivery for their order is going to take. This is why providing a delivery estimate is oh-so important, whether it’s at the time of selecting a shipping option, or in their confirmation/despatch email.

A neat little package

This may be more of a post-order topic, but bad or unprofessional packaging can also affect future conversions. Especially if you’re packing anything that might be in the least bit fragile, ensure it will arrive to its destination point in one piece – after all, a customer review can either boost or hurt your sales.
Remember; going the extra mile to package items well and perhaps even include a free gift or some sweets could make all the difference between customers ordering with you again, or looking elsewhere.

Simon Wright

As SEO and Content Marketing Manager at the Whistl Group, Simon has over 10 years' experience in both B2B and B2C marketing, and as a result, offers a unique perspective on the pre- and post-checkout delivery experiences. Simon writes regularly for both the Parcelhub and Whistl blogs and is passionate about helping retailers make delivery their competitive advantage.

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