The global cart abandonment rate was 78.65% in 2017. That means 3 out of 4 shoppers leave at checkout never to return again. Out of the various reasons for cart abandonment, shipping costs are one of the biggest factors. How can you retain customers and how do you attract customers? A staggering 63% shoppers abandon carts due to high shipping costs. 55% customers leave due to extra hidden costs, which also includes shipping.
In such a scenario, what should you do to attract and retain customers?
Like many eCommerce businesses, you might also think of free shipping. Free shipping can indeed work wonders and it can attract customers, but your profit may suffer on account of it. To help people like you, we have prepared this guide to tell you how to use free shipping without incurring a loss. You will also know the best practices to help you offer a smooth delivery experience.
Streamline Your Shipping Process
Nobody likes unpleasant surprises! You see a price on the product page and then find another $20 added to your bill for shipping. Your first instinct would be to leave the site- and that's what most people do! Then, you ask yourself, how do i attract customers and how do i retain customers?
Well, you just read the statistics above and don't need any more explaining. Whether you decide to choose free shipping or not, make sure to display the charges on the product page. These should also include other charges, tax and so on.
Think of Amazon Prime! People are paying more to get a great delivery service. You should aim to provide that.
Offer Free Shipping
Free shipping is the best way to attract customers and make them pay more-
- 9 out of 10 shoppers cite free shipping as the top incentive for shopping more
- 93% customers are encouraged to buy more products if free shipping is available
- 58% buyers add more items to the cart if they can get free shipping
Free shipping also goes a long way to increase customer retention. And it's a known fact that loyal customers spend more!
Great! Now let's explore a few action steps to cut shipping costs without making a loss which walks you through how to retain customers effectivly-
Include shipping cost in the product price. This way, your profits remain intact and your customers are also happy! It's a win-win situation.
Choose the right logistics partner- nothing can be more important! Look for small companies who provide quality services at reasonable charges. Also, don't forget to count in other charges like fuel surcharge, holiday deliveries and so on.
Negotiate with the provider to get the best rates and never compromise quality for price. You may get discounts for bulk orders.
Manage packaging to reduce shipping costs. Try to reduce the dimensions of your packaging or look for providers who do their own packaging.
Take advantage of prepaid and online shipping. See if your logistics partner offers free pickup of free shipping supplies. You can also buy shipping labels in bulk to save the cost of each package.
Cost Vs. Speed: What Should You Aim For?
Remember we mentioned Amazon Prime? People pay $119 a year to get free two-day shipping and other benefits. Fast and quality delivery is what every customer expects. 91% Amazon Prime subscribers renewed their membership for a second year, while 96% continued thereafter; Amazon is a key to learning how to retain customers.
To offer a service like Amazon, strike a balance between cost and speed. Choose a reliable logistics partner who is able to deliver not only your products- but also your promises to your customers.
If any delivery gets delayed, notify the customer at once. You can use a tracking app on your platform to allow customers to check their order status.
Simplify Return Procedure
80% buyers are discouraged from shopping by the unavailability of a good return policy. Your customers also expect a painless return process and maybe even a free pickup. Nobody wants to take the hassle of shipping back the product even if you bear the cost which is another example that promotes Amazon's success and promotes teaching you how to attract customers.
Here are a few tips to make your return procedure as smooth as possible-
- Offer a flexible return policy
- Provide an adequate timeframe for your customers to check and return the items
- Offer free pickup if possible
- We presume you would also like to learn some ways to reduce the number of return requests. Right? Consider the following tips-
- Provide all information about your product (including dimensions, colors)
- Help your customers choose the right size and style if you are into apparels
- Offer 'try and buy' option
- Add a FAQ section on the product page
- Answer questions left by customers
Wrap Up with a Follow Up
It's a good practice to follow up your customers with an email thanking them for the purchase. Some companies also ask for feedback or send a questionnaire. You can also use this opportunity to offer further deals, promotions and loyalty programs.
Free shipping and great customer service- that's the secret for eCommerce success. We hope that our guide to teaching you how to attract and retain customers was useful. If you require help with implementing any of these models into your business, our full service digital marketing services would take you beyond what you thought you could accomplish.
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