Freight is not an expense, it’s a sales item
Online shops should stop looking at freight as an expense and instead as a way of attracting customers. It is a fact, that online shoppers check out an online shop’s delivery and return terms before making a purchase, why having the right terms is essential for converting sales.
Delivery and return terms in an online shop are just as important points of a sale as what items are actually being sold, as online shoppers assess these terms before hitting the buy button. This is why online shops must evaluate their delivery and return terms as they do with the rest of their product assortment. When doing that, you find out that your delivery and return terms must be attractive, transparent and at the right price.
Attractive options tailored to your target group
In order to attract customers with your delivery and return terms, you have to know how your customers really want their online orders delivered. Research from Bring shows that more Nordic customers want their online purchases delivered at home instead of picking them up themselves, but only if home-delivery is cheaper than other delivery options and more flexible in terms of delivery time. This is surprising as self-pickup is the most widely used delivery option in the Nordics.
Attractive return terms are the ones, that are convenient for the online shopper. A research from UPS shows that as many as 81% of consumers expect that they can return online purchases in a physical store or send the items back to the online shop with pre-paid return labels. In other words, make returns as hassle free as possible for your customer.
Transparency is key
If your delivery and return terms are hard to find on your website, customers will most likely leave your online shop without buying anything. You have to put the terms right in the face of your customer, on the top of your frontpage in a banner and on every product site. Remember most customers don’t enter your online shop through your frontpage, they have probably googled a product and find your online shop through that way.
Make your delivery and return terms easy to understand. In short describe delivery method, time and price. Regarding returns, write a step by step guide on how to return. If your customers have to figure out themselves how they return a product to you, they will most likely leave your online shop before even buying. This how-to-return information should appear multiple places, on your website, and in information to your customer e.g. order confirmation sent to their e-mail and enclosed in the box for their order. Also let the customer know, when they can expect to have their money back. Instant refunds are preferable.
Convenience beats price
Free shipping is a powerful tool to drive sales, but if online shops don’t know how to cover the costs of offering this, it is unstainable. There are several free shipping strategies to use without destroying your business. However, free is not the only option for online shops. Research shows that online shoppers are willing to pay for delivery, if it is faster and more convenient. The same thing goes for returns, a study shows that 79% of consumers want free return shipping, whereas 92% of consumers surveyed said that they will buy again if product return process is easy. This shows that free return is important to online shoppers, but not as important as an easy return process.
In conclusion, giving your delivery and return terms as much attention, and making them as attractive as the products you sell, is essential for winning customers over in today’s cut-throat e-commerce business.
Text by: Consignor, firstname.lastname@example.org