- Aditya Malani
Shipping, while a fundamental aspect of the e-commerce experience, often goes overlooked in terms of its potential to differentiate a brand, foster loyalty, and create memorable customer experiences. Shipping is the first physical touchpoint between you and your customer, and hence a golden opportunity to leave a great first impression on your customers.
Why is it crucial for online retailers to establish a robust shipping policy?
61.8% of shoppers prioritize shipping costs over all other factors.
Additionally, 73% of buyers have abandoned a cart because they had to pay a delivery charge.
Just like high quality products, having a high quality shipping policy is a fantastic way to stand out from the competition.
Here’s how shipping can be a game-changer:
Great branding opportunity: Customized packaging, personalized notes, or branded stickers can turn a simple package into an unboxing experience. This makes the arrival of the package an event that customers look forward to and often share on social media.
Improve engagement: Even after a customer places an order, there's still an opportunity for engagement. Many online retailers overlook this, missing out on a golden chance to enhance interactions. Think outside the box and brainstorm strategies to connect with your customers upon parcel receipt. Tactics like including personalized messages, opting for sustainable packaging, or providing discounts for social media shout-outs are just a few methods brands are employing to boost engagement through shipping.
Boost customer loyalty towards your brand: Offering real-time tracking, proactive communication regarding potential delays, and easy access to customer support during the shipping process helps build trust and foster loyalty.
Lower cart abandonments: 73% of buyers have abandoned a cart because they had to pay a delivery charge. Understanding this and offering free or low-cost shipping will help retailers realize higher conversion rates.
A chance to stay ahead of the competition: A retailer providing faster delivery and multiple shipping options at low cost has a real chance to stand out from the competition.
Better delivery experiences: Empowering customers with greater control over their deliveries, such as the option to amend incorrect addresses or redirect packages to a preferable location, can reduce missed delivery incidents and enhance the overall shipping experience.
Some practical easy-to-implement techniques to improve shipping experience on your website.
Offer multiple shipping options: Offer both an affordable standard delivery and a faster, premium shipping option. Consider incorporating the quicker delivery into a loyalty program, similar to Amazon Prime.
Leverage Free Shipping: Offer free shipping incentives. Introduce incentives for free shipping. These can be based on a minimum spend (e.g., free shipping for orders over $250) or a limited-time offer (e.g., free shipping for orders made in the next hour).
Show expected delivery dates: When presenting shipping options, always include the estimated delivery date. It's surprising how many online retailers overlook this essential detail. As a consumer, would you commit to a purchase without knowing the delivery timeframe? Likely not without hesitation. Believe me, this nifty detail can shoot your conversion rates.
Don't keep customer in a blindspot untill checkout: Feature shipping costs and estimated delivery dates directly on product pages. There's a reason industry giants like Amazon and Walmart adopt this strategy on their platforms.
Share tracking information with your customers: To set clear delivery expectations, provide customers with package tracking details via automated notifications. This not only alleviates any potential customer concerns but also minimizes the workload for your support team.
Keep it simple with fixed rate: You need to woo your customers as quickly as possible. While live shipping rates can be complicated and confusing, predetermined rates simplify the process. Determine and set your shipping rates in advance to ensure clarity and ease for your customers.
How to setup shipping rates in Shopify?
Setting up shipping rates in Shopify is easy. You can set up free, flat, or calculated shipping rates in Shopify. Flat rates can also be range bound by price or weight. For example, you can set rates like $10 for cart value between $0 and $100, $20 for cart value between $101 and $200, and so on.
From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Shipping and delivery.
Next to the shipping profile that you want to add a shipping rate to, click Manage.
Next to the zone that you want to add a rate to, click Add rate.
Click on "Add Condition" to create range bound rates by price or weight.
Click Done, and then click Save.
What are Shipping Profiles in Shopify?
A shipping profile is a set of shipping rules for specific products and locations. When you setup your shop for the first time, you have one default shipping profile by default which contains all the products in your catalogue.
Shipping profiles help you charge accurate shipping rates through product-based shipping rules. You can use shipping profiles to set shipping rates for specific products, and charge different amounts based on where you're shipping your products to and from. You can add products that should share shipping rates to a shipping profile, and then set up shipping zones and rates for each location that fulfills those products.
You can have upto 100 shipping profiles (including the default one) for a Shopify store.
Here are some of the common usecases for merchants to use shipping profiles:
Having vendor specific shipping rates. Merchants often deal with multiple vendors, each with their own shipping agreements and cost structures. By setting up vendor-specific shipping profiles, they can accurately reflect the shipping costs associated with each vendor, ensuring transparency and accurate pricing for the customer.
Having different rates for different sized products. Product sizes can significantly influence shipping costs. A small, compact item will typically be cheaper to ship than a large, bulky one. By creating profiles for different product sizes, merchants can ensure they're charging appropriate amounts, covering their costs, and offering fair prices to consumers.
Having different rates for special type of products like fragile, perishable, etc. Some products require special handling or packaging due to their delicate or perishable nature. These additional measures often come with higher shipping costs. Establishing profiles for such products helps merchants account for these unique needs, ensuring that the products arrive safely and that the associated shipping expenses are covered.
Having different rates for in-stock and pre-order products. In-stock products are ready to ship immediately, while pre-orders might be shipped at a later date when they become available. This difference in shipping times might result in varying rates due to storage, batch shipping, or other factors. With separate profiles for in-stock and pre-order items, merchants can more accurately reflect and manage these differing shipping scenarios. Our app Shipr offers a unique way to change the product's shipping profile in real time based on the inventory available.
One big problem with Shopify Shipping Profiles
While shopify shipping profiles are a great way to charge accurate shipping rates, It can get very messy to manage products between them. Every time you add a product to Shopify, you will have to manually go and update the product to the correct shipping profile by visiting Shopify Settings. Also, there is no way to bulk add or remove products from shipping profiles. This can be an ever bigger problem if you have thousands of products in your catalogue.
While Shopify's shipping profiles offer a great way to charge accurate shipping rates, managing products within these profiles can be cumbersome. You'd need to manually assign every product to the appropriate shipping profile through the Shopify Settings. Moreover, the platform lacks a feature for bulk addition or removal of products from these profiles, which becomes problematic for stores with extensive product catalogue.
To address these challenges, we've developed an intuitive app to streamline the management of products across shipping profiles. You can even add, remove or move products in bulk from shipping profiles. You can checkout the app here if you are interested.
In essence, while many businesses view shipping as a mere logistical necessity, those that leverage it as an opportunity to enhance the customer experience set themselves apart. By going the extra mile (no pun intended), brands can turn a functional aspect of the buying process into a competitive advantage.
We have worked with over 100+ brands to setup their shipping. Reach out to use at email@example.com if you need any assistance with your shipping setup.