How Shipping Can Strengthen Online Conversions & Your Overall Business Sales

Conversions – which are defined by BigCommerce as “the percentage of visitors that land on your website who complete a desired action” – are necessary to understand in order to reach your business objectives. Among online conversions to consider include customers making a purchase, items being added to their shopping carts, email signups, social media shares and more. Looking at your own website, what other actions do customers make that you can learn from? Among them should be the variables that are offered when it comes to shipping. To help clarify these details more specifically, ask yourself the following:

  • Do you offer free shipping as an option for your customers?
  • Is overnight shipping available for your consumers to choose from?
  • Are different carriers provided for your buyers to select from?
  • What else impacts the shipping choices you offer on your website?

Among the most discussed strategies of online merchants is the value – and challenges – that free shipping presents. To consumers, however, free shipping is black and white. When choosing to make a purchase that includes free shipping, customers feel as if their shipping costs are being saved entirely – yet really it’s savvy merchants having wrapped the cost of shipping into the price of the products being sold. The perception of this to consumers is what truly matters, however, and thus should matter to online sellers, as well. Whether it’s offering free shipping, providing overnight shipping services or more, there are a variety of variables to consider when it comes to strengthening your shipping online conversions – all of which also influence how consumers engage both immediately and long-term with your website.

To enhance your shipping strategies and strengthen these conversions along the way, consider the below three tips.

Tip #1: Establish a Baseline

Curious how well your customers will respond to free shipping? Or multiple shipping carrier choices? How about overnight shipping with flat-rate vs. package-rate pricing options? To help understand your target audience of consumers, introduce a baseline study on your website that measures the conversion rate of shoppers with various shipping strategies. Over the course of a suggested 7-day period each, compare your overall strategies – narrowing in on click-thru details that are directly influenced by efforts that promote your shipping options and of course, sales. The final details of this study can help you gauge the importance of free shipping, multiple carriers and other shipping factors that are valuable to your unique audience. Additionally, this one-of-a-kind-to-you study will set a baseline for you to move forward in your shipping conversion goals.

Tip #2: Introduce Minimums & Restrictions in Your Shipping Efforts

Whether it’s identifying a minimum price for free shipping to be effective or excluding certain products from overnight or free shipping options entirely, it’s important to identify upfront what is – and is not – included in your shipping efforts. Consumers don’t like surprises when it’s time for them to make purchase decisions, so make sure any minimums, restrictions or other highlighted details are easily understood on your website. Offering these details at the conclusion of product descriptions (when applicable) as well as within the online check-out space is a reasonable way to effectively communicate these details.

Tip #3: Adjust Your Shipping Strategy as Needed

Too often, e-commerce businesses settle into routines that are not beneficial to their operations. Whether it’s failing to have shipping insurance, not incorporating customer-friendly shipping options or neglecting to analyze conversion rates, overlooking core details in your shipping strategy can impact customer retention and sales. Uncovering higher conversion rates and increased profits should always remain a goal, however, so take the time to give your business a boost by routinely evaluating it. Among the details to consistently review will be your shipping options, as well as the conversion rates in which impact them.

Finally, as you aim to better understand shipping conversions and how they uniquely impact your business, also aim to strengthen your response to them. If you find free shipping is in fact useful to generating stronger sales, for example, then make sure you factor in the cost of shipping into your product prices. That said, you want to maintain a healthy balance of inventory price points that are competitive within your retail landscape without compromising your revenue. Evaluating and adjusting these details is a long-term project that should never slide off your to-do-list – despite the seemingly never-ending list of things to get done as a merchant. To help your e-commerce business leverage shipping to strengthen your online conversions and sales, check out resources here that can help you maximize your shipping goals.

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