Ecommerce shipping has been rising with consistent growth since 2010 as online shopping becomes more popular worldwide.
2020 brought even more exceptional growth due to the coronavirus pandemic. As stores and markets were forced into closure or limited trading restrictions, the year saw online trading grow to an estimated $3.5 billion globally.
Feedback from online shoppers indicates that shipping is a crucial part of their perception of online retailers and will determine whether they return to buy again and leave a positive review.
This article provides a handy guide to Ecommerce shipping and how you can optimize it for your business and your customers.
Consider Your Options
Although Amazon fulfilment may seem like the easiest option, it is not always the cheapest or quickest. Amazon sellers are well-advised to shop around different shipping providers to find the best value for money and prompt service for their customers.
The enticement of free shipping is a powerful tool to increasing sales. When shoppers are browsing online, one of the main turn-offs is hidden costs or ‘surprise costs’ added at the point of checkout.
Free shipping and handling are powerful tools to increase buyer trust and ensure a sale is promptly closed. Sellers can choose to include the cost of shipping and handling into the product’s advertised price. In fact, free shipping is such a popular selling point that 25% of shoppers indicated that they would be happy to pay more on the item price if shipping shows as free!
Consider offering a minimum free spend to entice customers to spend a little more in return for free shipping. Also known as a ‘free shipping threshold,’ this can build customer trust and increase the net value of a customer’s shopping cart.
If it is essential to charge shipping, keep it as low as possible and try to calculate an exact price – customers do not trust round numbers, and if they are to pay for shipping, they expect it to be the exact amount that the service will cost. Inflating or even rounding up shipping costs again risks shopping cart abandonment.
Make it Fast!
Same-day shipping is an increasingly popular demand from US consumers. For urgent items such as medical supplies, late gifts, or urgently needed tools, you can persuade consumers to buy online instead of in-store by offering same-day shipping. Whether you’re shipping from WooCommerce or Amazon, your customers expect timely delivery or they’ll take their business somewhere else.
The underlying numbers also support this trend – almost 60% of online shoppers in the US below 34 now expect same-day delivery. Of those surveyed, 61% were also happy to pay extra for the quick turnaround.
Offering same-day shipping also has the potential to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts. The same survey found that more than a quarter of those polled indicated they would shop elsewhere if the option for same-day delivery had not been available.
Consumers Are Not Happy with the Shipping Speed
A whopping 85% of online shoppers in the US are unhappy with the speed at which online orders are delivered.
Increasing amounts of online shoppers want to receive their order within 3 hours of placing it, while most claimed that online retailers could not deliver this.
Another important consideration is that when things go wrong with deliveries, customers expect them to be resolved almost instantly. The solution may be for the seller to dispatch a replacement and then work with the shipping company to return the original or make a compensation claim. Either way, get the customer their goods as soon as possible and figure out the claim with your shipping partner in the background.
Finding a shipping partner that can guarantee this and has the logistical infrastructure to support it is an important step to winning new and repeat business and strong customer reviews.
Keeping in Contact
Although it is a big part of it, eCommerce shipping is not all about the speed of delivery. Clear and regular communication is also a vital component of keeping online customers satisfied.
Well-timed, automated emails informing the customer that their order has been satisfactorily placed are essential. After that, further touchpoints to say that it has been processed, shipped and it is status with the delivery service are also appreciated.
Most good Ecommerce platforms provide this in-built functionality to trigger email or app alerts to customers. Given that most online shoppers expect to receive regular updates about their goods, over-communication is the order of the day.
Providing tracking information is extremely popular and builds trust, as does the communication of what post-sales customer support is available. A simple email with contact details, FAQs, and troubleshooting along with a request for a review goes a long way to building goodwill and trust. Doing these small things makes it much more likely to trigger positive feedback from the customer at the end of the transaction.
Orders are Conditional
Getting your terms and conditions right is also essential for successful eCommerce shipping. Being open and upfront about when packages will be shipped and delivered to your customers is a must and an increasingly vital part of future orders from that customer.
The numbers show that customers intrinsically link delivery with the E-commerce company, not the shipper. Even if goods in transit are the job of the delivery company, the seller is viewed by the customer as ultimately responsible.
In short, finding a reliable shipping company is essential for eCommerce shipping to succeed.
Ecommerce Shipping is a Concern for Many E-tailers
Given all the stats and consumer trends this article has explored, it is hardly a surprise that shipping expectations are of great concern to many e-tailers. Keeping the cost of shipping and delivery times as low as possible may sound simple, but the reality is they are fundamental problems that retailers are facing.
The only solution is to work hard to find a reputable and trustworthy logistics partner to ensure prompt delivery and quick resolution when there is a problem.