Ecommerce Shipping Strategies are something that can be overlooked when setting up your online store. In the world of eCommerce there are many important factors to consider in your customers journey, from landing on your ecommerce website right through to checkout and beyond.

Here we look at ecommerce shipping strategies and how choosing the right options can impact your customer’s decision to buy which inevitably can result in increased profits.

Shopping Online

There are many different eCommerce shipping options to choose, from a simple flat fee next day delivery to complex matrix’s determined by weight, location, order total or attributes. Other considerations when it comes to online shipping is which provider to choose and how the logistics of this will work for your business and for your customers.

To buy, or not to buy?

In today’s digital world, customers want the right product at the right price and to be able to locate and buy with ease. Once the item is found, the customer has to make a decision, to buy or not to buy?

With the use of third party tools such as Pay Per Click and critical market research, the price points on your items should be enticing enough that a purchasing decision has already been made. Here lies where your shipping choices can result in a sale or an abandoned basket. Research suggests that most abandoned baskets occur when unexpected or high shipping costs are presented to the customer at the checkout.

The Psychology of Ecommerce Shipping

The idea of introducing shipping tactics to encourage an online sale, in an online visitor’s mind, can be as simple as the following:

Make it clear from the start: Ensure your customer knows the price of shipping before they have reached the checkout, creating a positive experience. If you are experiencing delays in shipping be open up-front, this reinforces trust and honesty. User Experience (UX) plays a vital role in ensuring a visitor becomes a customer.

Upsell other lines: Set a visible goal for the customer to reach in order to hit free shipping, this tactic increases basket value for your business, but also makes the customer feel like it’s a good deal.

Time Sensitive Messages: Promote urgency on your product pages “Order in xx for delivery tomorrow”.  This can entice the customer to make a quick purchasing decision.

Ecommerce Shipping Strategies - Time Sensitive Messaging

Appeal to Customers with Online Shipping Strategies

Through research and consumer spending patterns you may soon start to notice trends in your customers buying habits. Using applications such as Moz, these patterns can be tracked in order to identify which parts of your online store may be turning customers off. If you are finding your customers bail at check out it may be worthwhile trying to appeal to your customers with new or additional ecommerce shipping strategies.

Offer Free Shipping – Simply offer free shipping on every order. If you feel like this isn’t attainable, then consider building the price of shipping, into the item’s cost. This strategy can make the customer feel they are getting a good deal. Be wary that this may make any products you are promoting through Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, look more expensive than your competitors.

Provide flat-rate shipping – One price for shipping no matter what is ordered. If you feel this isn’t feasible consider a slight price uplift on all items across your ecommerce store to compensate/balance the figures.

Data driven Shipping – If your products are listed with weights in your ecommerce admin panel you could offer your customers an exact shipping price for their order. Whilst on bigger items this would lead to a potentially high shipping cost, customers may feel it is a fair option.

Freedom of Choice – Give your customer the flexibility to choose their own shipping option. They may be happy to pay a surcharge for next day delivery as the item is required imminently. Alternatively they may be happy to wait on a cheaper longer turnaround delivery option.

Click & Collect – This is an ideal ecommerce shipping option if you have multi location stores across a wide geographic. It allows the customer to secure an item, whilst keeping their costs down and potentially acquiring the item sooner, than through traditional delivery options.

Ecommerce Shipping Strategies - Click and Collect

Ecommerce Shipping Strategy Case Study

We recently undertook a shipping strategy review for a client. They were primarily interested in identifying any patterns between purchases and abandoned baskets and asked us to assist in this process.

Looking over a multitude of sources such as GA4, Hotjar and website data, we saw what appeared to be a loose connection between the order value and number of orders placed vs abandoned. To confirm our suspicions, we ran a correlation coefficient test, which gives an idea of the strength and direction of a relationship between metrics. In this case, we wanted to test whether there was a relationship between the times ordered, and overall times in basket for products that cost more than the website charged for shipping.

The result highlighted a strong correlation coefficient. This showed that while more baskets overall meant more sales, the increase in sales was more pronounced for products with a higher selling price than the shipping charges.

Of course this result could be impacted by a multitude of factors, so the data was taken with a pinch of salt. Before rolling it out sitewide, a test was developed around a subset of these items whereby we increased the product price so that free shipping could be offered. The result of the short term test of these was an increase in sales for these items, showing the potential significance of paying due diligence to your ecommerce shipping strategy.

Ecommerce Delivery Options - Courier
Ecommerce Shipping Strategies - Website Options
David Pratt

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