Shipping Is a Marketing Issue for Your Online Store - dummies

Shipping Is a Marketing Issue for Your Online Store

By Jan Zimmerman

Nothing is likely to infuriate online buyers more than the price of shipping. Because shipping is expensive, especially as the price of gas increases, research alternatives upfront to decide which carrier and delivery choices you will offer. If possible, let customers select the shopping method they prefer. Of course, not everything can go by ground — baked goods and fresh flowers always need fast delivery!

According to the Direct Marketing Association, “more than 70 percent of consumers say they compare the total cost of a product, including shipping and handling charges, when they compare sellers. Those who shop online say excessive shipping charges is the number-one reason they abandon their shopping carts before buying.” Positive consumer perception of your charges is critical to your success.

The overall rate of shopping cart abandonment is 71 percent as of June 2010, according to Forrester Research. That’s right — more than 70 percent of all started shopping carts never result in a purchase, and that number is rising as shoppers become more sophisticated at comparing prices. Of that 70 percent, studies show 44 percent of shoppers abandon carts because of high shipping costs or hidden charges.