how to use shipping to convert and retain customers

How to Use Shipping to Convert and Retain Customers

Cart abandonment is remains a major problem for eCommerce sellers. According to Barilliance, the number one reason customers abandon their cart is unexpected shipping costs.

The good news is that this problem can definitely be fixed!

Believe it or not, your shipping policy is key to converting and retaining customers. Here are 3 ways you can improve your store’s checkout to ensure you are converting as many customers as possible.

Have a customer-focused approach to shipping

It’s important to take a customer-focused approach to shipping rather than a seller-focused approach. Offering a variety of shipping solutions can exceed customer expectations to deliver real value and encourage customer loyalty.

Start by exploring solutions that squeeze out the best value for customers in service versus cost.

When deciding which couriers you should work with, consider the following:

  • Postal vs express couriers. Postal couriers are the cheapest, and while their low prices could be appealing to some customers, their service quality may not be up to par for others. Express couriers are pricier, but you can expect them to provide a more reliable quality of service.
  • Delivery times. Many customers want fast delivery options, while some are willing to wait. Offer a range of solutions with different delivery times to appeal to everyone.
  • Tracking quality. Choosing a courier with good tracking not only keeps customers updated, but also keeps inquiries about delivery to a minimum.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed in researching couriers, it’s understandable. After all, there are over 400 shipping companies around the world to choose from.

If the idea of negotiating with multiple couriers sounds overwhelming, consider using Easyship. One account gives you access to over 100 shipping solutions so you can offer the best options to your customers based on their delivery preferences and location.

Install dynamic rates at checkout

Having a “static” checkout with flat rates can turn customers away because they don’t know what they’re paying for. It’s best if customers can see the breakdown of shipping costs, courier information, and any additional tax, duties, and handling fees.

Easyship has a Rates at Checkout plugin that allows you to display calculated rates at checkout.

Rates at Checkout

Installing this plugin allows you to be completely transparent about shipping costs, which in turn creates trust with new customers.

Make sure taxes and duties are handled correctly

When shipping internationally, you may come across customers that will have to pay tax and duty on their shipment.

In these cases, you will have the option at customs to deliver the shipment with duties paid (DDP) or duties unpaid (DDU).

For a smoother delivery experience and to avoid delays in customs, it is advised to choose DDP.

Choosing to deliver with duties unpaid can lead to an unpleasant experience for both you and your customer. When the customer gets a call requesting payment of duties, it could catch them off-guard if they were unaware of the additional cost in the first place.

Also, the customs brokers who collect duty payments are all independent businesses with different fee structures that vary per country. It would be impossible to tell the customer what their final cost will be.

When you choose DDP, you pay the duty amount to the courier, who will then process the payment to customs on your behalf. Though couriers will charge an additional fee for this, these fees are fixed and can be 3-4 times cheaper than a customs broker. There would be no need for the customer to be contacted, and the shipment will clear customs quickly.

In conclusion

To convert and retain customers through shipping, you should:

  • Offer multiple delivery options at checkout. These solutions should provide the best value for customers in service versus cost.
  • Have a dynamic checkout. Show calculated rates and a full breakdown of the shipping costs so customers know what to expect.
  • Minimize delays at customs by delivering duty paid (DDP). Providing a smooth delivery experience will encourage customers to order from you again.

About the Author:

Michelle Mondonedo - Easyship

Michelle Mondonedo is a content marketer at Easyship, the all-in-one shipping tool that helps eCommerce sellers ship worldwide in minutes.

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