The importance of shipping for an e-shop

Get your Shipping Policies right for your e-shop

The way you handle the delivery of your products plays a critical role in deciding the conversion rate of your store. It plays a direct role in the shopping cart abandonment rate of your store. This is what a recent research paper from a large courier company concluded.
• While free and discounted shipping is a big benefit, there is more to online shopping and customer experience. In fact, many shoppers are willing to pay a nominal fee to receive the product faster if given an option.
• Shipping and delivery timing is important during the shopping cart check-out. To reduce shopping cart abandonment, your e-shop should show the shipping costs, or give consumers the option of shipping time frames.
• Customers are willing to wait for their packages, but need to know an estimated delivery time  and they want e-mail or text alerts about their delivery.
• The customer need to feel in control. Options such as “special delivery instructions,” the ability to schedule a late delivery, or having a delivery window gives the
consumers the control they need to improve their shipping experience.
• Finally, good experiences with returning items lead to repeat customers and recommendations for the retailer. Good experiences are those that ensure ease for the consumer, while the bad experiences are the ones that highlight hassles and the extra cost.

To Offer Free Shipping

Irrespective of the business and cost implications, if you talk to your customers, they will tell you that they want free shipping.
For whatever reason, a free shipping offer that saves a customer money is more appealing.

If you still have to charge for shipping, make sure that you always mention the shipping costs up front. If you can afford to offer a flat fee, it will work best because it makes the buying decision much easier for the buyer.

Mobile e commerce on the rise for 2013

Mobile commerce broke numerous records during the 2012 holiday shopping season and is well positioned for a repeat performance this year, thanks to the growing number of consumers who own a smartphone as well as increasingly sophisticated mobile retail strategies.

“Right now, we are seeing 17.7 percent in terms of percent of transactions coming from the mobile device,” said Dave Haucke a strategist at IBM Enterprise Marketing, Armonk, NY.

“Mobile E commerce is going to continue to grow this holiday season in terms of the transaction channel. That is good news, but it also means that it raises the stakes in terms of that customer experience because we are starting to see an increase in bounce rates and a decrease in time on site and pages visits.”

As consumers become more comfortable with their smartphones, their expectations grow and they become less tolerant of bad experiences.

This means that not only do retailers have to have a mobile site and application, but they need to make sure that the experience is truly optimized for mobile from start to finish. Additionally, mobile is helping to drive the trend toward earlier promotions as users begin their product research via their smartphones when they have a few minutes to spare. The Baynote report found that 30 percent of retailers will begin promotions prior to Oct. 1, while over 40 percent wait until early November.

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