Putting shipping tips into practice

Posted by Temando on Wednesday, September 03, 2014 with No comments

We recently posted about reducing cart abandonment with simple shipping tips. In this post, we’ll take a more practical look at how businesses are using these strategies to improve the appearance and flow of their customers’ purchase experiences.

With the examples, note the way in which the various shipping messaging is prominently featured on the site. This goes a long way to building trust with the customer and allaying concerns about purchasing goods online.

Offering Choices

Offering choices not only allows your customers more freedom, it can also help you to stand out against your competitors. In the highly competitive online fashion space, The Iconic’s 3 hour deliveries allows it to not only compete with other online retailers but also against traditional retailers as well. Notice that they display options for both 3 hour and standard overnight at the top of the page. Something for everyone!

Shorty’s Liquor on the other hand often gets orders for specific events and therefore, by allowing pick-a-day delivery, the order gets to the customer when they want it, not before. They also offer cold deliveries as an option which is a no brainer with alcohol because really, who wants to receive their beer warm?

Finally, be sure to utilise your strengths when choosing your delivery options. Dick Smith offers both standard delivery and collect from store functions to both give options and also leverage their physical footprint.

Transparent Costs/Free Shipping Threshold

Making delivery costs visible is very valuable. It prevents any confusion and means customers won’t baulk at prices when they reach checkout. This can generally be done in one of three ways: offering free shipping, offering a flat rate for shipping or displaying exact quotes for shipping.
The Iconic and ASOS both display their free shipping thresholds at the top of their webpages, just beneath the navigation:

If you don’t want to offer free shipping and aren’t comfortable picking a flat rate, consider incorporating a shipping calculator into your product pages and checkout. Our shipping calculator, for example, allows the customer to input a postcode for delivery and creates a dynamic quote of the actual shipping cost. With this method you don’t lose money on shipping and your customer understands what they’re going to pay.


The window that businesses can give customers to return goods obviously depends largely upon the type of products. In online fashion, recent trends are towards longer times with companies generally choosing anywhere between 4 weeks and 100 days. If a customer is unhappy, it’s unlikely they will wait until the 99th day to return a good, but offering a generous amount of time will allow your customers to feel less pressure when making the purchase. EverMe, for example, offers 100 day returns and broadcasts it from the top of their home page:

Oscar Wylee has built a part of their business model around offering simple returns. That’s obviously not going to work for everyone, but it does demonstrate the value of a simple to navigate returns process. They give an option for a free home trial of 5 pairs of glasses for 5 days, after which you arrange to return them. Free shipping, free home testing of the products and then a small payment to return the glasses. Their returns portal is very simple as well. It allows the customer to pay for and print their shipping label and either drop their return into a post box or arrange for a courier to collect it. Easy!

Regardless of what you feel you can and can't realistically offer, it pays to be upfront with your customers. Make sure information about shipping, options and returns are easily accessible and understandable - it's definitely not going to lose you any sales.