ecommerce-shipping-practices

Ecommerce Shipping Best Practices To Increase Sales

Last updated October 1, 2019

Applying the best practices possible when shipping is an important part of E-commerce strategy for any online shop, as it directly impacts the success of your business. Having a robust plan and executing it well could and should be a game changer for you.

For starters, did you know that 60% of online shoppers abandon their carts because of unexpected extra costs? And it just so happens to be that one of the prime contributors to extra cost is shipping. 

It is said that shoppers are even willing to spend more so that they can qualify for free shipping. 55% of online shoppers consider free or discounted shipping as the most important checkout option. 

This makes it clear that every E-commerce business needs to have a strong, shipping strategy in place. After all, online sales and revenues are all linked to conversion, and if the shipping cost is what drives decisions towards that conversion, it needs due attention. Check out G2’s reviews to help you select the best eCommerce tool for you.

Here is a set of E-commerce shipping best practices that you may want to consider while finalizing the overall strategy for your business.


1) Highlight Your Shipping Option  


Digital shopping is all about consumer experiences; hence, it is unlikely that a customer will revisit their site, after one or two bad experiences. Having to abandon a carefully and painstakingly picked shopping cart due to shipping costs could certainly be a contributor to bad experiences. 

Create customer awareness about your shipping policies by highlighting the strong points of the shipping strategy and put up shipping options, fulfillment and return policies. That makes for lesser abandonments.

Offer flexible, mixed shipping strategies, based on the shopping amount, frequency, season, area to be shipped to, certain categories of purchases, etc. Keep the shipping strategies dynamic to customize solutions based on the business analytics. In other words, use data to recognize trends and tweak shipping offers. 

Various options that can be taken into account for finalizing the shipping strategy are flat rate shipping, table rate shipping, live shipping from courier agencies, International shipping, using shipping tools, same day shipping, guaranteed within x days/hours, etc.

Also, if you have free shipping options, go to town with it. This is a big differentiator when it comes to drawing in customers.


2) Free Shipping 

The statistics mentioned above clearly indicate that considering free shipping as an option could well bring in some extra revenues.

If that is a critical influencer for a majority of the shoppers, there is no way you can ignore it. This could well your best marketing tool, but balance to not lose out on your margins.  Conditional free shipping is based on factors such as amount, category, promotional or seasonal sales, the introduction of new products, etc. 

Free shipping can be provided as a loyalty reward, providing it to shoppers who are prime members or regulars, and so on.


3) Educate Your Team On The Importance of Shipping 

A rather intriguing aspect of the E-commerce customer experience is that the circle of control for a business is limited. For example, once the customer checks out the shopping cart and the shipping comes into play, this activity is almost always outsourced. 

This means that you may well have to treat your shipping partner as your extended arm, in order to ensure that the customer retains the same pleasant experience; until such time that the product actually reaches them. So, the onus of the customer experience and ensuring repeat purchases lies equally with you through the shipping partner. 

Put a team in place, which has representation from departments such as marketing, fulfillment and customer service. This is presuming that your web design and development team has already put in place the best algorithms to ensure that the customer was shown the right shipping options, based on the cart. 

The customer service team needs to be fully trained to handle calls, especially distress calls, and take solid, measurable actions on the basis of those. Post purchase, they will be the first point of contact and should handle issue resolution in line with the promised shipping guidelines. 

Every member in the supply chain from shopping to delivery has to be made aware of the goals that need to be achieved through the adopted shipping strategies. These should be part of their KRAs, to ensure smooth customer experiences.


Importance of Packaging 

If you have ever ordered something online, you may well know and appreciate the importance of packaging and the last mile experience. 

Packaging happens to be an important aspect of shipping that may get neglected. You could use this also as a marketing tool to create better, personalized experiences that bring smiles. Packaging needs a strategy that can be foolproof, impressive and have a ‘feel good’ impact on your customer.


Acquire Convert

More and more business are jumping on the E-commerce bandwagon. Even the brick and mortar companies have started to have an online presence. 

For customers, it’s certainly a good thing to have more options to choose from. For businesses, it becomes imperative to stand out and make it profitable. It is but natural that businesses need to do their homework to ensure that the money invested in this brings in expected ROIs. This has given rise to many E-commerce conversion specialists.

If you need a partner, who can help with practical, realistic and process driven approach with proven results, Acquire Convert an E-commerce conversion & sales optimization expert is the company to go to.


Use Arka

Arka offers great, personalized customer packaging experiences, with a decade of industry experience. Arka’s packaging is sure to give your customers that feel good factor when their purchase is delivered. 

With Arka, you get the lowest minimums (as less as 10 minimum orders!), competitive rates, premium materials, and quality customer service.

Arka ensures fast prototyping, to ensure minimum timelines and quality packaging. More than 200 businesses across 950 cities trust Arka for the success of their businesses, through optimal packaging with a quick turnaround.

giles thomas

Author:

Giles Thomas is the founder of AcquireConvert, the conversion rate optimization blog that teaches ecommerce stores how to increase conversion rates and profits. He is the Founder of Berlin based ecommerce growth agency Whole Design Studios, a head mentor at the Google Launchpad Accelerator and a member of the Google Experts program.

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