How Shipping Costs Persuade E-commerce Consumers

Online shopping has been steadily growing over the past decade, forcing brick and mortar stores to compete a little harder for in-store sales. Even with the increase in popularity, not every shopper is convinced to buy online. Believe it or not, shipping plays a significant role in whether or not shoppers will purchase items from an e-commerce website.

Reasons Why Shoppers Don’t Want to Pay Shipping

When customers shop in a physical store, they expect to pay the marked price, but that’s not always the case when they shop online. Many will add items to their cart, get ready to check out, and leave before ever buying anything because of the shipping cost. While offering free shipping would help with sales, it is the biggest expense e-commerce stores face, making it difficult to eat the cost.

The main reasons customers don’t want to pay shipping include:

  • They are often unexpected because the shipping cost doesn’t show up until the end of the transaction.
  • Shipping giants, like Amazon, offer free shipping on most purchases to prime members.
  • They don’t place a value on shipping or recognize that it saves them time and gas to travel to a store.

Four Steps E-Commerce Stores Can Take

Here are some steps e-commerce stores can take to minimize abandoned carts due to shipping costs.

Be upfront about shipping costs.

Depending on your website, there are two ways you can notify customers of shipping rates. You can display shipping costs with each product or have it added immediately to the cart once a product is added. When customers know what to expect, they are less likely to abandon their cart.

Advertise a low, flat-rate shipping fee.

Another way to be upfront about shipping costs is to advertise a low, flat rate shipping fee. For instance, if your e-commerce store sets a shipping rate of $8 and promotes it the right way, many shoppers could look at it as a bargain, especially if they plan to spend over a hundred dollars.

Offer free shipping with a defined sales threshold.

Offering free shipping once a shopper spends a certain amount is a great way to convince them to buy more. Plus, the more they spend, the less likely you will lose money on offering free shipping.

Work with a local courier company.

Often, e-commerce stores think there are limited shipping options. Local courier services can actually save you money on local deliveries, and many times, deliver them even quicker than large shipping companies.

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