In today's fast-paced digital world, shopping has moved from brick-and-mortar stores to primarily online. In fact, . This has caused companies to get creative in order to stay competitive, particularly with online shipping. Shipping costs can be a huge deterrent or a great incentive to shoppers. There are several ways companies can focus on improving the shipping process, to create a better online shopping user experience.
Upfront Shipping Costs
When consumers shop online, they want to know the total price of their purchase including shipping before going through a series of steps. They don't want to be surprised and frustrated when they are checking out. To alleviate this, you can list the shipping cost as soon as the item is placed in the cart. Another idea is to show the total cost on the product page to make it easy for customers to make the purchasing decision.
Specify Shipping Carriers
Some people are very particular about shipping carriers. If Fed-Ex always delivers packages to a neighbor's house, or UPS tends to leave expensive gifts outside, shoppers can be drawn toward or away from a particular carrier. It's a good idea to either show shipping options, or at least specify the carrier so it's clear.
Accurate Delivery Dates
According to , shoppers really don't care much about shipping speed; it's the delivery date that is more important. For example, if someone purchases a video game system, saying it will arrive in 3-4 days is less effective than specifying it will arrive between April 25-April 29.
However, there are two plausible reasons a shopping website would display shipping speed rather than delivery date.
- This part of their checkout experience was designed primarily from a business-centric view. It's possible they just didn't consider the fact that delivery dates tend to be much more effective for the user experience than just listing shipping speeds.
- They are unable to accurately determine specific delivery dates.
Neither of these reasons are good ones, however, the second one makes a bit more sense. After all, implementing delivery dates isn't exactly the simplest change to the online checkout process. It is a change that should occur, however, since price and speed of all available shipping options are a huge impact on shoppers.
Know Your Inventory
Nothing is more frustrating than snagging a great deal online, going to check out, and seeing the dreaded “out of stock” notification once on the purchase and shipping page. One way to prevent these issues is with an inventory software, such as . These systems can help locate items quickly, and streamline and reduce errors in the selection process, among other features.
The online shopping experience doesn't end once the consumer checks out. It continues even when the package is delivered and opened in their home. By managing expectations and understanding customer needs when it comes to shipping, a better user experience will make for happier shoppers and successful business practices.