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Our previous tip for preventing cart abandonment talked about making sure that product details are clear, comprehensive and relevant. But there’s plenty more to be aware of if you want to keep customers shopping instead of sending them off to the competition. As long as we’re on the subject of details, here are a few more that you can provide if you want to keep the orders flowing. These are the details related to purchasing and they’re just as important.
Tip #2: State Shipping And Delivery Information
Customers don’t like surprises. You might have experienced this frustration yourself if you’ve ever gone to a website and been forced to “check out” before shipping and delivery charges were calculated and added to your order.
A customer might be perfectly fine with a $50 delivery charge – as long as he’s aware of it. That same customer might not be as forgiving if an extra $50 suddenly appears without warning on his order total. Information, again, is the key.
According to eCommerce studies, high shipping rates are one of the top reasons that customers don’t follow through with a purchase. It may pay to reconsider your shipping costs and how they are presented to customers. If you can afford to absorb some of the shipping costs, you can lower your rates. If that’s not feasible, you’ve got to tackle it from a marketing perspective.
Sometimes it’s less about the shipping charge and more about the perception of the shipping charge.
Have you ever shopped around for a product and found it on one website for $10 plus $10 in shipping, then found it on another website for $20 with free shipping? The net is the same but the perception is entirely different. In the first scenario, you’re getting a $10 product with a ridiculous shipping charge that will cost you as much as the product itself. In the second scenario, you’re getting a $20 product and something free – the shipping. “Free” is a powerful word.
When possible, build shipping into the price of the product so that there are no additional charges beyond the purchase price.
Remember that marketing is part psychology. If a customer knows that there are no additional charges beyond the purchase price, no shipping, no hidden “handling” fee, it creates the perception of a good deal.
Customers also like to know when they can expect to receive their products. You should let them know generally how quickly orders are processed and what shipping methods you will use so they can feel confident in their expectations.
Make a distinction between how long it takes to “process” an order and how long it takes to “ship” (if there is one). I’ve been frustrated by websites that have told me “your order will be processed within 24 hours” and that sounds great, until I find out three days later that it takes 2-4 days after the order is processed before it’s shipped. I can’t imagine why a business would do this. It doesn’t make sense to create a positive perception and then shoot it down with something that sounds worse than it would have if they’d just told me my order would ship in 2-4 days. Set realistic expectations and you won’t disappoint your customers.
This goes for defining your shipping methods. Are you shipping FedEx overnight, UPS Ground or US Postal Service? There can be a significant gap between when I might expect to see my order and when I actually see my order depending on the shipping method you use. If an order takes 24 hours to process plus 2-4 days to ship plus 5-7 days in transit, tell your customers. Don’t leave them guessing at the math.
Making a sale on your ecommerce site depends to a great degree on how clear and easy you make it for your customers. By defining some simple expectations you can build trust and remove the barriers that can derail the deal.