Each week, we publish a mishmash of ecommerce related, insight infused articles for you to smash through. Just as we collect business information across all of a merchant’s channels in a single place, we’re doing the same for ecommerce related content from a variety of top tier content creators. If you find the material filling your appetite for knowledge, feel free to share this post, as well as any article you see here.
This week, we’re going to our roots and talking about shipping. From F-words to abandoned cart prevention and 30 minute fulfillment, there’s bound to be something here of interest for you.
Please Don’t Go
Cart abandonment is a serious issue for many online merchants, with many carts orphaned at the checkout aisle. That isn’t news to most retailers, but abandoned cart messages – prompts that pop up or messages that are emailed when a shopper ditches the checkout aisle – tend to be ineffective. Bronto Software and Demandware partnered to research the effectiveness of retailers’ reminders, finding that more merchants than ever utilize cart reminders, but many fail to include relevant information, like cart value, shipping costs, etc, out of fear of driving shoppers away. While shipping costs may contribute to abandonment, letting consumers know of expedited or convenient shipping methods are a potential way to get them to check out.
Put It in Writing
You’re probably aware of the benefits of writing up a returns policy, but shipping policies can protect merchants as well. If a customer disputes an order for any reason – whether it’s the wrong product or a damaged one – merchants are most likely going to have to pay up, regardless of who is truly at fault. Shipping policies help to define what exactly the consumer and retailer can expect from one another, and they usually include aspects like carrier, time frame for delivery, shipping insurance, and more. In the event that something goes wrong, it’s always good to have something in writing.
If you’re fulfilling yourself, you’ve got complete control of how your orders look, feel, and arrive to your customers, and that’s something to use as an advantage. A Better Lemonade Stand has a great post on shipping strategies to efficiently and beautifully ship your products. It covers the basics of fulfilling, like carriers, rates, etc, but it also includes resources for branding your product, like custom boxes, cushioning, and stickers.
Eyes on the Sky
Keep Amazon on your radar, because they’re getting closer to launching Amazon Prime Air, a 30 minute delivery service possible through drones. As if Fulfillment By Amazon wasn’t enough of an appeal for merchants, the marketplace is claiming that their 30 minute fulfillment will be cheaper than same-day delivery by a lot – $1 versus $5+. Although the drone’s prototype is functional, there are a few large regulatory hurdles that Amazon will have to get through before Prime Air becomes reality.
The answer may seem obvious in most cases, but which word is more attractive to customers – free or fast shipping? In most cases, especially during the holidays, free shipping beats out fast at 87% according to research on 4,000 U.S. shoppers by Deloitte. Makes sense, as expensive shipping costs are of the most important factors of ordering online for many consumers. That said, if a shopper desperately wants a product and the holiday deadline is approaching, fast may just take priority.
Speaking of deadlines, we’re a week into December, so holiday shipping cut-offs are about to start appearing. Follow us on Twitter for alerts in advance!