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How to Handle Shipping on eCommerce Websites

Podcast Number 65 – July 2011

In this Internet Marketing Podcast Glenn and Tom discuss strategies for dealing with shipping in online sales and eCommerce Websites. Shipping is one of the most important considerations in the user’s interaction with an eCommerce Website. There are many variables needed to evaluate before developing a shipping strategy that meets user needs and maximizes sales and conversions.

Why is shipping so important to Website conversions?

  • It is one of the most important considerations in the pricing equation.
  • Many strategies need to be considered beyond price.
  • Delivery time is a big factor.
  • Product condition during transport.
  • Product receipt and the user’s location.
  • Delivery method and user’s impression of their service.
  • Return and customer service.
  • International issues.

What do users look for in online shipping costs and processes?

  • Users want it free and delivered right now.
  • Users are very smart and sensitive to shipping polices and pricing.
  • An explanation of shipping policies that is in their favor is needed.
  • Turn shipping into a win-win and an advantage for the Website.
  • Offer return shipping if it fits in your pricing model.
  • See the Zappos and Amazon Websites for examples.

What are considerations from the Website marketer and business manager?

  • Don’t take shipping lightly or just pass through your costs with a mark-up.
  • Shipping should not be a way to improve margins.
  • Think of shipping strategical and develop a plan.
  • Understand the numbers and the supply/demand issues around pricing.
  • Be aware of how online sales tax impacts users and shipping costs.

Here are the action items from the Podcast:

  • Understand the financials and pricing issues around selling your products with shipping included.
  • Use this financial information to drive shipping and pricing strategies.
  • Write up your online shipping policies and explain how you do it.
  • Talk to your target market about shipping through informal surveys.
  • Research your direct and indirect competitors.
  • Map out the shipping process before the site is built.
  • Work with your shipping partner to figure out these issues, they also want you to sell and ship your products.

This podcast is available on iTunes.

Thomas Young

Thomas Young is the CEO and Founder of Intuitive Websites. He is a consultant, award winning Vistage speaker and author of “Winning the Website War” and “Sales and Marketing Alignment.” Tom has helped thousands of companies succeed online and has over 25 years digital marketing experience.