It's really quite simple: without an effective shipping solution, your eCommerce business will suffer. The best possible website selling the best possible product is less likely to succeed if word gets around that shipping is unreliable or too complicated.
So how can ensure your e-commerce website has the best shipping solution for your customers?
In fact, the single biggest reason for shopping cart abandonment are high costs of shipping and handling. If the final link is missing, you will not convert many users to customers. But how do you prevent that from happening?
1) Integrate Your Software
Most importantly, your eCommerce software should be closely connected to your shipping and handling process. You can achieve that with a software solution that integrates with your eCommerce and cart software, rather than handling shipping manually.
In addition, you should also take care that the carriers you use work well within your website structure. In 2016, your customers expect accurate tracking information to see the progress of their order, and that can only be possible if your eCommerce store supports it.
2) Offer Free Shipping - On a Limited Basis
It seems obvious to say that free shipping offers will eliminate all of your shipping needs. But of course, it can also narrow your profit margins, as the products still have to be shipped - the costs of which will come out of your own budget. The key, then, is finding a middle ground.
For example, you can offer a free shipping threshold for orders over a certain amount, as many major online retailers do. Alternatively, consider offering free shipping if your customers sign up for recurring orders or order specific, new or overstocked products. Free is tempting, but limited it to offers that will be sure to help your profits.
3) Explain the Ecommerce Shipping Options
Another reason would-be customers shy away from expensive shipping and handling costs is that they don't know what these costs entail. Chances are that you don't offer a high fee just for the fun of it; to prove it to your customers, list the exact items that go into calculating the overall fee.
You need to make clear that 'shipping and handling' is not just another way for you to make money off your customers. It's simply the fee required to get your visitors' desired products to them as quickly and efficiently as possible.
4) Offer Shipping Alternatives
If your eCommerce model is build on the base of a brick and mortar business, you can offer alternatives to shipping that allow customers to circumvent the fee, such as free in-store pick-up. But even if your business is e-commerce only, consider offering shipping alternatives with varying costs to meet your customers at the price they're most comfortable paying.
Overnight shipping is naturally more expensive than an alternative that can take up to two weeks to deliver. Giving your customers both options means communicating the fact that you care about them, and want to make the process as easy as possible.
5) Detect Shortcomings
When your shipping is flawed, your business suffers. As the final link standing in the way between you and a future customer, it should be a priority for you and your eCommerce business. So even when implementing the strategies above, you should take your optimisation one step further by pro actively monitoring any potential shipping issues.For example, you can follow up with shoppers who abandoned their carts to ask just why they did so. If shipping is a recurring theme, start investigating just what you could have done better to convince them. Analysing and talking to your customer is always beneficial when optimising your business processes.How much thought do you give your shipping solution? If you are managing an website, the answer is probably "not enough."