17th September 2020
Online shops should stop looking at freight and delivery as an expense and instead view them 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, so having the right terms is essential for converting visitors into sales.
You should evaluate your delivery and return terms like you do with the rest of your product range, to ensure that your delivery and return terms are attractive, transparent and priced competitively.
Attractive delivery options tailored to your target group
In order to attract customers, you should know how they 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. However, this is 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.
Returning items should be convenient for your customers. 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 and found a product that way.
Make your delivery and return terms easy to understand. In short describe the delivery method, time and price. Regarding returns, write a step by step guide on how to return. If your customers have to figure out for themselves how they return a product to you, they will most likely leave your online shop before buying.
This how-to-return information should appear in multiple places, including on your website and in information sent to your customer e.g. order confirmation sent to their e-mail and enclosed in the parcel of 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 unsustainable.
There are several free shipping strategies you can use. However, free is not the only option available to 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 returns are important to online shoppers, but not as important as an easy return process.
In conclusion, making your delivery and return terms as much attention as attractive as the actual products you sell, is essential for winning customers over in today’s competitive e-commerce business landscape.
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