Sounds unbelievable but shipping is not just about delivering goods to your customers anymore. In today’s e-commerce world, shipping is much more. It is one of the parameters that decide the success of your business. Check out these eye-popping figures by Business Insider,
- 61% of consumers are “somewhat likely” to cancel their purchase if free shipping isn’t offered.
- 54% of online shoppers say that if shipping costs made the total cost more than expected, then they would abandon their shopping carts.
Hence, developing efficient shipping strategies is important NOW than ever.
Here are 6 important shipping strategies that you must follow if you want to reduce cart abandonment and grow your eCommerce business.
#1 – Is Free Shipping a good shipping strategy?
Yes, it is ALWAYS, but there are things you should focus on while offering free shipping to your customers.
You may have encountered a situation in which many of your customers are happy with your product line, price, and even adds the products to their cart for making purchases. However, with the addition of unexpected costs (high shipping charges) on the checkout page, many discontinue the purchases.
“Free shipping could be a good way to entice buyers, especially if you’re just getting started with your eCommerce store. It may be tough to bite the bullet with this, but it’s a great way to not only boost sales but also to increase customer satisfaction.” as commented anonymously on Quora.
Automation is the next big thing in shipping management as it helps in fulfilling the orders quickly and accurately.
In fact, “according to Business Insider, over $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be left unpurchased in shopping carts by online shoppers this year. This is a staggering factor that directly impacts your sales.” Source: Quora
Further research suggests that up to 63% of that is recoverable through clever technology solutions. For instance, retailers may wish to send discount offers to those who have items left in their cart, or use exit pop-ups before they leave the website entirely this is all possible with the intervention of technology.
Shipping management software now has trigger-based automation capabilities. This empowers the entrepreneurs to set business rules that will automatically do the task once the condition is fulfilled. For eg. if you set a business rule that if a customer adds items into cart and then abandoned it then automatically they will receive an email about ongoing offers for that item. “Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails are a powerful tool to recover sales as nearly 40% of all cart abandonment emails are opened.”
Also, performing shipping calculation manually is time-consuming and prone to errors, therefore, it is highly recommended to use shipping calculators that are built-in the shipping management software for e-Commerce. In the online world, where customers have a range of choices, automating shipping and offering the right benefits could make all the difference.
#3- Create clear shipping policies
According to UPS, “Customers’ biggest frustrations come from shipping uncertainty, such as unclear delivery dates, shipping rates, and return policies. Create a “shipping” section on your website that clearly explains delivery options, shipping rates, and returns. In fact, if an online retailer offers a hassle-free returns policy—return labels included with their shipment or easy to print returns labels like Amazon— customers are 64% more likely to recommend the retailer to a friend and 67% more likely to continue shopping with that retailer.”
#4- Packaging to perfection
You are dealing with multiple products for which each has a different weight and size. Such factors play an important role in summing up the shipping charges.
Being aware of such factors for each of your products will ensure you don’t blindly target shipping offers and discounts that can kill profit margins.
For instance, shipping heavy or large products will involve high shipping costs than small ones. So the key is to consider the packaging of the product as per its size, shape, and weight.
#5- More the merrier!
Well, that’s not just true for parties, it is true for other things too, like more shipping options. Providing your customers with multiple delivery options is certainly a good shipping strategy. Why? Because it gives the customer better control over the shipping charges. “Express delivery” or “same day delivery” is usually costly so if the customer doesn’t need the product in such great urgency then they can choose the standard delivery and hence decrease their overall shopping cart cost. At times, resulting in free shipping too.
This assures the customer that the shipping terms are flexible and customer-friendly and hence enhances their trust in buying products from your e-commerce portal.
#6- Integrate with shipping carriers and expand your market outreach
One of the most overlooked strategy but an essential one for successful shipping in e-Commerce is integration. It eases out half of your shipping tasks and yet most eCommerce businessmen tend to ignore it. Integrating with shipping platforms like UPS, USPS, DHL, FedEx etc. is beneficial in multiple ways, such as, checking and comparing the shipping rates, print shipping labels, track shipments, enhance delivery time etc.
Integrating with multiple shipping carriers also gives you a chance to expand your market reach. Since most of the carriers ship the products internationally, you can offer your products to different locations and also take advantage of the discounts offered by carriers for shipping internationally.
Also, good shipping management software will allow you to integrate with multiple shipping carriers all at once and make your job of integrating with them even easier.
Hoping the above tips will help you explore shipping strategies to your competitive advantage. Some other useful strategies are to personalize your packages, create professional and accurate shipping labels, provide good returns policy etc. for successfully expanding your e-Commerce business.
Using a good marketing strategy like purchase a product ASAP due to low stock or free shipping for a limited period is also an excellent strategy for winning more business.
However, testing and refining your shipping strategies as per your business is quite important too. Therefore, analyze your strategies from time to time to check what works and what doesn’t for your business and make changes that are required as per your analysis.