5 Ways to Highlight Shipping for a Better Ecommerce User Experience

In the world of ecommerce, it is important to streamline the online shopping experience - from processing the shipping order to confirmation of the delivery, every stage of the shipping process affects conversion rate. In this blog post, we will provide five ways to optimize shipping on your e-commerce website. 

Showcase shipping benefits in different places

Who doesn’t love free shipping? Shipping costs are one of the most important factors in influencing the customer’s shopping decision. According to Shopify, 75% of global shoppers consider shipping costs when they make an online purchase.

By displaying shipping benefits across your ecommerce site, such as next to the product descriptions or by the “Add to Cart” feature, companies can use this competitive advantage to appeal to customers and boost brand loyalty. 

 Everlane’s checkout page includes “Free shipping on U.S orders over $75” and a guaranteed easy return policy within 30 days of the ship date. This alleviates the shopper’s concerns about spending on products that are not the right fit or size. To add further appeal to the shopping experience, customers have the option to add a free personalized note during checkout. 

Everlane is a clothing brand dedicated to providing high-quality products at an affordable price. The company's unique offering of free shipping on orders over $75 is one of the many ways they drive retention rates. Not to mention, shoppers can add a free personalized gift message with their purchase.

In addition to free shipping, Blueland, an eco-friendly cleaning brand, entices customers with additional discounts. Rather than having to calculate how much they will save, the scale in the “Your Cart'' section serves as a visual guide for customers to see exactly how much they need to spend to reach the next tier of savings. Customers are encouraged to increase their AOV through a free shipping bar which tracks how many more dollars they need to spend to earn it.

 Blueland gets creative with their free shipping benefits by adding a scale to help customers track their spending. Each touchpoint is incentivized with a promotion to determine how much more the customers need to spend in order to receive 15% or 20% off their total purchase.

Be upfront about shipping costs 

Displaying different shipping options on the checkout page makes it easy for customers to decide what product or service to buy. Customers who want expedited shipping can see when it will be delivered, and how much it will cost them.

Nike, for example, sorts their shipping rates from cheapest to most expensive, with the fastest delivery dates at the bottom. If customers want their product shipped within three days, they can see that this option is available, as well as its cost. 

Nike has different delivery options with a variety of arrival times that the customers can choose to their liking. For faster shipping options, the price point is more expensive than later arrival times. Customers also have the option to place their order online and pick up their purchase in stores for free.

Manage expectations for delivery time

Shipping focuses on convenience and choice. Many online stores are becoming more descriptive with their shipping options, such as adding the projected delivery date if ordered by a specific time or “1 day shipping” rather than calling it “standard” and “express”. Communicating shipping speeds with fast and affordable methods can help reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Did you know that you can get your Apple purchase delivered right to your doorstep? Or, alternatively, you can pick it up for free at your local Apple store! A zip code field is nicely implemented within the cart preview with an estimated delivery time so it’s easy for shoppers to see total costs.

Apple provides a predetermined delivery date and pickup options. With a local pickup option, customers can input their zip code to find their local store for pickup, which saves retailers time and money on shipping. 

Apple also provides a time frame advising customers to purchase at a certain time in order for their products to arrive sooner. If customers are unsure, they also have the option to “save” the item(s) to a wishlist and come back to it later. The wishlist strategy provides a seamless experience between the digital and real-world shopping journey. 

Make Returns Convenient for Customers 

If you’re looking to expand your ecommerce business, appealing to customers beyond your borders is a great approach, especially by offering free returns. Including free returns not only removes a layer of fear, but is a hallmark of a great customer experience. 

Under the question mark icon, Casper provides detailed information and breakdown of the shipping process. Additionally, Casper informs their customers whether the item is in stock and is transparent about their shipping timeline. For example, orders may typically take 2-4 weeks for in-home delivery and setup orders. There is also free returns and shipping for orders made in the U.S and Canada, with additional shipping costs in Alaska and Hawaii.

Casper, an ecommerce brand that sells sleep products, has free shipping and free returns in the U.S and Canada. For other continental states, such as Hawaii or Alaska, as well as international customers, optimizing an ecommerce store can be much more involved – setting up different subdomains for each country ensures that the proper language, currency, taxes, address fields, and inventory is reflected. 

Guaranteed Customer Satisfaction & Protection

On Etsy’s checkout page, the company provides a detailed breakdown and description of the shipping process. By mentioning the status of the seller and their response to the shipping process, it provides transparency and credibility for the customer.

In Etsy’s checkout process, the Cart Summary indicates the timeline of the estimated arrival, establishing expectations of what happens after the order is placed. Contextual info icons at the end of each line allows shoppers to get more details. Etsy offers a purchase protection program that guarantees customer satisfaction. This program allows customers to shop with confidence, knowing that they will be taken care of in the event of any problems with eligible purchases.

To further provide peace of mind, Etsy offers a purchase protection program. Shoppers are guaranteed protection on eligible purchases, which showcases Etsy’s commitment to customer satisfaction. Etsy also demonstrates their efforts for sustainable shipping by noting that they offset carbon emissions from shipping and packaging on the selected purchase. 

Conclusion

The ecommerce shopping experience doesn’t just end at the order confirmation' page – the experience extends to the moment the customer opens their package (and beyond, if free returns are involved). Providing a range of shipping choices leverages the tradeoff between timeline and price, reducing the chance of an abandoned cart. 

Transparency and managing expectations are key factors to shipping. As designers, we can implement these takeaways to provide the best possible shipping experience and improve the overall UX of the ecommerce website.

 To recap, these are the 5 UX considerations for shipping:

  1. Offer free or discounted shipping, either as a promotional offer or for orders above a certain amount. This can help improve customer satisfaction and encourage more sales. 
  2. Offer a range of shipping options, including expedited and express shipping for customers who need their items quickly. 
  3. Provide accurate and up-to-date tracking information for each order. This will allow customers to keep track of their packages and know when to expect them. 
  4. Make returns more convenient for customers. 
  5. Offer guaranteed protection on eligible items to ensure customer satisfaction. 

What aspects of shipping do you care about most when shopping online?

What aspects of shipping do you care about most when shopping online?

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