Did you know that, according to a June 2014 study released by UPS and comScore, that 58% of online shoppers abandoned shopping carts because the shipping costs made the total purchase cost higher than expected? In fact, high shipping costs was the number one reason for abandoned shopping carts.
Let’s face it. At this point in the online world, shoppers not only expect free shipping, but they want their products now. The Zappos and Amazons of the world have increased online shopping demands.
How does the average online retailer compete? In addition to offering free and fast shipping if possible, the answer is educating your customers on your shipping and fulfillment process. Here are some tips we’ve compiled from other online retailers in increase your online sales by explaining your shipping process:
- Make a Shipping Explainer Video
You probably already have an explainer video for your business. Now consider breaking that down into photos or a brief video showing the steps in your shipping process. According to a recent survey by ReelSEO, 73 percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video. Here’s a great example of a shipping video from VAT19. People think it is so awesome in fact, that it has been viewed 140,000 times!
A YouTube search returns nearly 9,000 videos about shipping costs and processes, so you will be in good company when you make your own.
- Explain the Reasons Behind the Cost of Shipping
Whether or not you offer free shipping, explaining the reasons behind the cost of shipping is useful. Sourcing products from overseas, a meticulous product process, or special handling can lead to costs that customers are unaware of.
A great example of doing this well can be found from ShipStation customer Verdant Tea. They explain the costs of importing and exporting goods, and how it impacts shipping in a perfectly titled page called, “Transparency in the Tea Industry: The Cost of Shipping.”
Review this page and see how you can be similarly transparent. Honesty encourages customer loyalty. Perhaps you can set up a pop-up on your checkout page that says something like, “Understanding Our Shipping Costs,” that links directly back to a similar page on your site during the final steps in the sales process, thus halting some customers from abandoning their purchases.
- Offer a Shipping FAQ Page
Give your customers one less reason to call you, and give your customer service department a break by providing a really creative Shipping FAQ that is both informative and interesting. Use pops of color and video when it makes sense here as well. A really good example of an FAQ page can be found at Sticker Giant. We love this page because Sticker Giant talks clearly about when and how they offer free shipping (ground shipping is free), and then they conveniently link to a map showing exactly how long ground shipping takes to every state in the country from their warehouse. This really helps their customers make the best shipping decisions for them.
- Put the Power of Package Tracking in Their Hands
Customers want to know the status of their package shipping and delivery. As a baseline, make sure you provide customers with the anticipated delivery date, the tracking number and a link where they can check status.
Although you can certainly just direct them to UPS or FEDEX to do their own tracking, you will create more comfort and customer loyalty every step of the way if they can return to their account on your site to see status. For the royal treatment, do as Amazon does and set up auto-emails to confirm their orders, tell them when the order is being processed, when it has shipped and where it is.
ShipStation lets you automatically set up shipping notification emails. You can learn more about how to do that here.
The bottom line is this: communicating your shipping policies will help increase online sales. Start implementing these ideas today. What ways have you made shipping policies clear and simple for your customers? We’d love to know!