The way you handle the delivery of your products plays a critical role in deciding the conversion rate of your store. It plays a direct role in the shopping cart abandonment rate of your store. This is what a recent research paper from a large courier company concluded.
• While free and discounted shipping is a big benefit, there is more to online shopping and customer experience. In fact, many shoppers are willing to pay a nominal fee to receive the product faster if given an option.
• Shipping and delivery timing is important during the shopping cart check-out. To reduce shopping cart abandonment, your e-shop should show the shipping costs, or give consumers the option of shipping time frames.
• Customers are willing to wait for their packages, but need to know an estimated delivery time and they want e-mail or text alerts about their delivery.
• The customer need to feel in control. Options such as “special delivery instructions,” the ability to schedule a late delivery, or having a delivery window gives the
consumers the control they need to improve their shipping experience.
• Finally, good experiences with returning items lead to repeat customers and recommendations for the retailer. Good experiences are those that ensure ease for the consumer, while the bad experiences are the ones that highlight hassles and the extra cost.
Irrespective of the business and cost implications, if you talk to your customers, they will tell you that they want free shipping.
For whatever reason, a free shipping offer that saves a customer money is more appealing.
If you still have to charge for shipping, make sure that you always mention the shipping costs up front. If you can afford to offer a flat fee, it will work best because it makes the buying decision much easier for the buyer.