Shipping is one of the most important aspects of e-commerce. If people don’t like what they see when looking at shipping options, they will just shop somewhere else that can accommodate their needs. Using online shipping solutions, like Fetchy, can save you both time and money, and help you avoid losing out on potential or existing clients. Here’s a look at 5 e-commerce shipping best practices.
Would you like it if you were trying to shop online and the website made you log in just so you could see the shipping rates? Of course you wouldn’t. Neither will your customers. The two questions customers will have when shopping online is “how much will shipping cost?” and “how long will it take to reach me?”. If you make it so customers have to log in to find out this information, you’re missing out on sales. Customers should have access to shipping costs through the shopping cart and it should also be included on product pages. If your shipping prices are based on where the order is being shipped to, then let people enter a zip code to receive a shipping quote.
The product page is where shipping questions are likely to come up. Customers want to know how much it would cost to ship something if they add it to their cart. This is why you should provide shipping times and costs on the product page. Putting in a link to shipping rates and policies can work, but it’s much better to use tabbed views or AJAX to give customers a shipping rate without them having to leave the product page. With the help of Fetchy, you’ll have access to all the shipping information you need. All you have to do is include it in the product page to make it easier for customers to make the right choice.
Customers want what they order fast. Even if someone chooses a 3-5 day shipping option, you should get their order sent off the next day after the order arrives. Aim to process all orders within a single business day. Sitting on orders just makes it more likely that an order won’t reach customers on time, which leaves them unhappy.
If you’re going to offer express delivery, then you should ship those orders the day they’re made (up to a cut-off point). Express delivery means, well, express delivery. Be sure to put down what the cut-off time is in the shipping policies too, such as including a note that orders made before 1PM are shipped that day.
You should already be providing tracking numbers, but this can’t be overlooked. The best time to start building a relationship with a customer is right after they make their order. Customers want to know you have received their order, and they want the option of tracking the package as it makes its way to them.
Once you receive the shipping information and tracking numbers for an order, you should email customers that information. If you have the option, then use a system that makes tracking numbers a direct link to the website of the carrier handling the order. This offers some more usability and is a small gesture that goes a long way.
You should never promise things you aren’t able to deliver. Make sure that there is a shipping cushion in place. Keep delivery times realistic by adding a few days to the delivery times to serve as this padding, except for 1-and-2-day delivery options. Companies such as Amazon and Dell are known to do this. They will say shipping can take up to 5 days and have the package delivered in 2 days.
This cushion is there to ensure that customers are still happy, even if their package does end up taking five days to reach them after all. They can get excited if they receive their package early. If you were to offer 2-day shipping and it takes 3 days for them to get their package, then they won’t be happy about it. So do you see how this works? Give yourself a window and get the delivery sent out as soon as possible. Customers will thank you for it, especially if their package shows up “early”. When it comes to shipping, you really want to under-promise but over-deliver.