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Shipping and Returns

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Clear information on shipping costs is key to e-commerce succes

The way you approach shipping costs of products on your website is key to succesfully running your online store. The amount of deserted shopping carts is closely interrelated with whether you do or do not invoice shipping costs and how clear you state this on your website.

There have been hundreds of studies that have researched the use of shipping costs. Let us review some conclusions:

  • However free shipping is a huge conversion improver there is more than just free shipping to achieve a higher conversion. Many online buyers are even happy to pay for express shipping just to have the product in their hands as quickly as possible.
  • The shipping costs and delivery time are very important during check-out. It is all about communication. By offering various options in delivery times and clearly indicating the associated costs (and from what amount shipment is free) will result in more people making purchases.
  • Customers don’t find it problematic to wait a bit longer for their order if you correctly inform them. They want to receive an e-mail or text message about the estimated delivery time.
  • It is also important to give the client the feeling that s/he is in control. By offering multiple shipping options, dates and times they have the feeling to be in total control of the ordering process.
  • Lastly, a good returns policy. Customers experiencing problems whilst returning the product will be much more likely to write bad reviews about you and give bad publicity.


Offer free shipping

When you do a target group research 100% will say they want free shipping.

Research on free shipping had interesting results. A 10 dollar discount (6 GBP) is less attractive than a discount of 6 dollars (4 GBP) on shipping costs. So if you are already starting giving away discounts you better start with offering free shipping.

An extra conversion tip is to inform the visitor they don’t need to pay the 6 USD/4GBP shipping costs. When you add the price tag the discount becomes even more visible.

When you will add shipping costs to the bill make sure to inform the client early about these extra costs.

Make your returns policy a forte

Will it fit me? Does it look nice in the living room? Will the birthday boy like my gift? To make these kinds of questions not an issue you should make the returns policy as clear as possible. When you don’t have a clear and accessible returns policy visitors will become “afraid” to buy from your online store. They’ll become afraid to get a lot of hassle because of the purchase.

In the European Union and many other regions in the world it is a legal requirement to have a returns policy of, for example, 7 days. Products have to be accepted back in this period with a full refund. If this is also the case in your country, you better make it into a positive selling point toward the customer rather than seeing and framing it as something negative.

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