Are shipping issues sinking your business?
People differentiate way too much between brick mortar businesses and the online e-stores. But the fact is that there isn’t much demarcation. I mean, basically they are both here to sell and work for the needs of customers. Then there is the common motive to earn and establish their trademark. The medium of projection and appealing to people is obviously different but the work and existence is mostly similar. But in this working there is one thing that sets the two bodies apart from each other. Even though the buying is same but the selling of shopped stuff is where the difference increases.
Supermarkets and shopping malls don’t have to worry about supplying stuff to their customers. Once the sale is made, people pay and are then free to take their stuff.But in e-commerce one of the biggest factors that attract (or equally scare people away) is the quality and standard of shipping. As e-commerce store owners you need to work on the details of how you manage your shipping. And this is not just one department like technical groups that you can assign to a bunch of talented people and then forget about. Shipping is a whole new story that requires a ton of thinking and an entirely new strategy to keep buyers interested.
Is the shipping cost exceeding shopping cost?
One thing that people all around the world loathe is when they have to pay for services. And what could top the hatred more than a situation when the services cost more than what they are actually buying. 55% of online shoppers have dropped a shopping cart in an online store because the overall price of the product plus shipping was “too high” for them. Don’t expect to be a top seller if your customer has to pay more to get the product delivered than the actual price of the product itself. You might protest that shopping costs and people should be practical while assessing the costs! But the truth is people don’t care if you are shipping from Los Angeles or the Mumbai port. So according to them shopping is your headache and not theirs. In this case make sure to keep your temper and be calm headed. Now offer your customers a handful of different shipping options with varying prices and delivery dates for reducing their costs – the UPS, FedEx, DHL or USPS can be great partners in such cases. They are huge established shipping brands, partnering and working with whom will be very helpful to your customers’ towering costs.
Order value to qualify for free shipping is too high
Now the offer you provide may be of the type where shipping is free for over an amount of purchase price. People try and line up stuff in their carts to reach that price and hence get free shipping (towards which they are a little too inclined). But sometimes clearing this order value for shipping is as high as the GATE cutoff or the IIT margin! This probably infuriates potential customers to a limit that they might bang our head or something if they come by us at all. So many customers drop their carts and leave the online stores (ditching their deals and goods) just because their total purchase price didn’t qualify for free shipping. Now this could be because the value mark your site sets is probably way too high for most customers. After all not everyone buys month full of stuff in one go while shopping online! You should give a little lag in this detail whilst you are designing your store. Because frankly, what we really want is customers and if they run away then the entire process is in vain. It would thus be better to put the optimum purchase price of Rs. 2000 or something around that is sufficiently high and yet affordable by most shoppers. Of course that is just an estimate figure. What you sell will determine the optimum price value greatly. So you may use tools like Analytics to work out what suits your site.
Shipping costs listed too late
I know we are all grown ups now! But that goes right out the window once people are putting in their money. They want genuineness and the truth. So if you do anything that makes them even remotely doubt your authenticity they are going to run like wild men screaming “FIRE!” Now spamming or fake stuff/promises via your business are big issues. But I’m talking a little smaller here. Smaller; yet equally potent in causing harm to your shoppers’ base. During the dealing (i.e. when the purchase is being placed) people like to know everything beforehand. They don’t want to be kept in the dark for any amount of time. So don’t make the mistake of not including all the details!
If you do not specify shipping costs before the deal is struck, you are about to get a lot many complains than you can imagine. In fact again, if the customer proceeds to checkout and only then learns that he will have to pay the same price for shipping as for the product (or something similar), they’ll probably just leave. The communication is of the essence here. You know people will have to pay so they will obviously be more careful and hence want to know more. So unless your shipping is free or insignificant stop delaying your information. Be it free shipping or minimum order values just stop trying to hide values from customers! They don’t appreciate it, EVER! However if you do appear utterly honest, this might work for your favor. There is the obvious fact that people will start praising your work in front of other people. Which will definitely encourage traffic. But existing customers too will dwell into some additional purchases. If they already know how much they’re going to pay for shipping they might want to make it their money’s worth by adding some additional products to the cart. This will increase their total sum a little but they do save on the shipping charges that in an alone sale would be higher than before.
Delivery date specifications
Sometimes when the delivery process is availed to, the sellers just leave it be. No details, no information. Just a thank you message and an unspecified promise that your stuff will reach you soon. Of course it may reach a little late or soon as of the date you predict. Of course! This is the muggle world with its anomalies! But if you don’t give even a single tentative date to customers they tend to get edgy. Nearly a quarter of your potential customers will choose to ditch buying from you if you do not provide them with the details that they are entitled to know. Which is the expected date of receiving their purchased orders. Not only is this assurance but if you do not give a date to the people they see it as a sign of unreliability. When the essential details like such go amiss people look at your work with a suspicious eye. They feel like you are fooling them or rather that you will go missing once the payment is done! I know for a little detail like that people tend to overreact more than you can think! But why take a risk at all? Some people might risk and still order your products, but some won’t – indicating the expected delivery date before checking out won’t hurt in any case.
But while we are discussing the delivery date, make sure you don’t delay too much. I mean, 3-10 days is okay for shipping. But beyond that again makes people feel you packed your bags and left town! So offer them multiple and varied shipping options so that they can rely on accountable brands instead of cursing your firm’s work.