When you have a look at e-commerce owner’s priorities list, you’ll discover that shipping matters seem to be of least importance.
Focusing on promoting the products and providing excellent customer service, many e-store owners pay less attention to shipping policy. This is a bad thing to do since well-prepared shipping strategy translates to a steady turnover growth.The shipping strategy that has been thought through and adjusted to market needs is an excellent way to minimize cart abandonment rate.
As the research carried out in the United States in June 2014 showed, 58% Internet users stopped shopping due to shipping costs, 57% wanted to compare total shopping and shipping cost with other e-stores and 55% wanted to save products in cart for future shopping.
Strategically, it’s a good idea to go through below 5 points when focusing on your shipping strategy.
1. Who is my client?
The basic thing you need to pay attention to is the basic consumer data. When it comes to planning, you always need to have solid background. In this case we’re talking about buyer’s location, income, age, education, interests or lifestyle. Most of this information can be gathered from e-store’s statistics or from social media. If you want to have detailed data, you can ask your clients a few questions about what you need to know.
2. What’s your competitor’s agenda?
Knowing your clients isn’t enough. Knowing your rivals is an absolute must. What shipping company do they use? What are the order process steps? When do they offer free shipping? Do they offer personal pick-up? Luckily, most of this information can be found while browsing e-store website.
3. How do you ship your products?
What you need to do is to analyze your product base in terms of packaging and shipping methods. You need to how to pack your products so that they get to your customers in a neat condition. Pay attention to the sizes, shapes, durability, fragility as they all determine type of packaging that you need to choose for shipment. Check if the products require special packaging that maintain low temperature or transportation in a specific position (for example decorated cakes). When you check all those aspects you will have a solid idea about packaging and transportation costs that your products require.
4. Do I have a correct return policy?
Law specifies that online buyers have the right to return purchased goods without giving any reason within 14-day period. It’s a good idea to check if our return policy is written in plain language, if it has information on shipment method, contact data, notice who is charged with shipping cost and if it’s placed in a visible and easily accessible section.
ComScore published a report which says that 67% of potential buyers looks for return policy information, 66% of online shoppers would like to have the option to return items free of charge and 58% of respondents appreciates the possibility of return without giving any reason.
5. Where do I ship?
It’s good to ask yourself that question since the Internet allows you to sell your products wherever there is access to the Internet. It’s good to establish what countries you’re going to ship to. Are you going to start with your local market and then expand globally? Or do you plan to start off globally since the very beginning?
What is good shipping strategy?
When you think through your shipping strategy you’d be able to calculate real shipping costs of each product type as well as your target group preferences. A deep analysis and thinking like your future customers is an excellent path to preparing the best user experience in your e-store. I don’t have to tell you that it translates directly to higher number of loyal shoppers.