Get them to buy from YOU…. not your competition!

ecommerce free shippingNo one likes hidden fees. From charge cards to phone bills, people simply want to know what the charge is up front. Why is it then, that some of us wait till almost the last second to show our customers shipping and delivery charges? This is actually the number one cause of cart abandonment resulting in 44% of all abandoned orders.  This is simply because customers tend to add products to their carts to find out the full picture before deciding to purchase from you or from one of your competitors.

So exactly what do you do?  We’ve found a few helpful tips to reduce cart abandonment as well as entice your customers to finish that purchase!

web shipping setup
1. Offer free shipping and delivery.

It’s the way to go: if you possibly can afford to, give the shipping away free. Aside from immediate accessibility, shipping cost is one of the few advantages brick and mortar stores offers over e-commerce. Make it simple for your customers to decide to purchase from you instead of someone else.

Of course, if you’ll offer no cost shipping, ensure it is REALLY obvious to your customers.

In the event you can’t offer free shipping across the board, offer free shipping if the customers purchases a certain amount, this may often work to improve the overall value of your cart.

2. Make your current shipping policies are obvious as well as straightforward.

Some people can’t offer free shipping and delivery, and that’s okay. If you end up charging for shipping, ensure that it’s very easy for your customers to see how the fees are figured out — spell it out in simple English. A clear and informative page which outlines the important points of your policy takes the guesswork out of the checkout process.

3. Research what your competition is charging.

It’s not good enough to simply charge the same amount as your competitors. How are you affected when someone adds items to their basket? Do your competitors offer free shipping and delivery? If  they do, is it clear and obvious on their website? Which shipping providers are they using and what do comparable items cost to ship from your store as opposed to theirs? Be sure you are a competitive as you can possibly be.

shipchartA common substitute for free shipping is usually to split the actual shipping costs with your customers. Offering a flat rate or perhaps offering a by weight/order total option which will calculate slightly lower than what you’ll be paying is a terrific way to undercut your competitors.

pricematch

4. Keep in mind that price isn’t everything — options and speed are necessary too!

Some customers are likely to pay more to get products speedily or how they want. Offer a number of options to entice as many customers as you can. In addition to free shipping and handling, a flat rate expedited shipping and delivery option may very well be worth thinking about.

Some individuals have their own preference of carrier too. For example, FedEx won’t deliver to PO boxes, so including USPS might entice some customers to buy from you rather than your competition.

The idea is this: shipping is the dirty laundry that no-one wants to discuss. But it’s a fundamental element of e-commerce.  So ensure it works for you rather than against.

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Gina is a pretty nifty web designer who started out in this world as a software programmer. She works mostly with small and medium sized businesses who need a superhero to help turn trainwreck projects around. She enjoys reading, learning new web design tricks, Star Wars and playing tennis (badly).

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