When it comes to e-commerce, shipping has a huge influence on consumer purchases. In fact, BigCommerce reports that shipping cost and speed influences 80% of U.S. customer decisions, while 87% of customers are influenced by price 71% by discounts or promotional offerings. Keeping this in mind, consider how your e-commerce business can be strengthened thanks to shipping best practices. Among them include the following five tips.
#1: Clearly Identify Shipping Information for Customers to Find
Customers are easily distracted online, therefore it’s essential to make their navigation of discovering products and checking out during their purchase experience as seamless as possible. To help, be clear and concise in your shipping details – providing all necessary information they need to know. This should include carrier options, cost of shipping, delivery timelines, extra fees (if any) associated to shipping and return policies. With Media Post reporting that half of the customers have abandoned an online shopping cart because they didn’t like their shipping choices, it’s also important to give your customers options. The main takeaway is this, however… make sure your customers don’t have to hunt for the shipping details your e-commerce business provides.
#2: Introduce Automation into Your Shipping Strategy
Let’s face it… shipping is big business, but it also takes time to manage. Save your time and your employees’ time by introducing a 3rd party fulfillment strategy or simply drop-shipping select products from manufacturers to help reduce your time spent shipping. This will not only reduce time spent on shipping efforts but also open up time for your e-commerce business to strengthen selling strategies. It’s a win-win scenario.
#3: Provide a Customer-Centric Return Policy
The reality is when customers shop online, they often are already thinking ahead to whether or not they may need to return what they purchase. As a result, your company’s return policies are important in determining if a consumer chooses to make a purchase or not with you. Still not convinced return policies matter? eMarketer reports that more than 50% of customers will avoid shopping with online merchants that have strict shipping policies in place. Due to this, it’s critical online sellers provide a return policy that is reasonable yet relaxed so that consumers can confidently make purchases without fearing returns are not an option… or difficult to make. Shipping, of course, influences this so be sure to clearly state how shipping costs and actual efforts will influence returns, as well.
#4: Monitor Your Shipping Costs
Having clarity on how much your shipping spend is can help your e-commerce business not only save money on your shipping efforts but also increase profit on your entire e-commerce operations. To help, incorporate a parcel auditing strategy into your shipping strategy to identify where you are spending excess money, being billed incorrectly by carriers and more. With only a few quick steps to get this set up, this is an effective and easy way for e-commerce businesses to gain a clear view of where they can save money, where they are losing money and most importantly – how they can capture more dollars for their e-commerce business. Learn more here.
#5: Review and React to Shipping Analytics
Creating a dynamic e-commerce business doesn’t happen blindly. Having a strong understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities is the best way to enhance your e-commerce business. Yet the human touch alone cannot accomplish this. To help, allow reports and analytics to bring clarity to your shipping efforts – ultimately helping your business strengthen all touchpoints within your shipping actions. With improved visibility, you can make more informed decisions and thus, reduce your shipping spend. To help, explore more here.
Finally, as you aim to enhance your shipping efforts also aim to improve upon your carrier contracts. The carriers you choose to ship with –such as FedEx and UPS – impact your shipping efforts significantly, therefore it’s important to review your existing carrier contracts and consider negotiations on them to help your e-commerce business. Combined with the efforts identified above, this can help your e-commerce business excel in selling and shipping online.