Shipping Options for Customers: What Do They Expect?

With potentially hundreds of ecommerce stores in the world that are just like you, it’s important to find ways to distinguish what you offer that is different from others. While much of that comes down to branding, storytelling, and your product – sometimes the smaller differences count too. Especially when you have a product on your site that might be sold by others too.

One of those smaller differences would be the shipping options presented on your eCommerce site. The way you present the shipping options determines whether a customer might buy with you or abandon the checkout.

Here’s who we suggest presenting your shipping options to your customers:

1. Tell them when you plan to ship the products

“Even if a product has next day or two day shipping options, that doesn’t mean the product might reach them in one or two days.”

The product below ships within 3-5 weeks. If a customer does not know that, you have high chances that you will not only piss off a customer. But that they will ask for a full refund.

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The shipping date and time is valuable information to an informed customer. Mentioning to customers information like the following can be invaluable:

Example 1: Orders placed 5pm EST today will be shipping today. Orders placed after will go out the following day.

Example 2: Orders: Want this tomorrow? Order within 5 hrs 42 mins and choose Next Day Delivery at checkout.

2. Tell them when they can expect to receive the products

“Customers are not stupid in our opinion. They just have a lot of things on their mind while they are shopping. So we look for ways to have them do less.”

Instead of asking customers to figure out when the product will reach them, we like to be proactive and tell our customers when a product will become available. That eliminates them having to do the math.

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In order to build accuracy into something like this, you will want to have a cutoff time built into your eCommerce setup. That way it calculates the arrival data accurately. We’ve gone to the extend of building in holidays and time zone selector as well to make sure it’s as accurate as it can be.

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3. Provide some options as the customer does like to choose

In most cases, we side in the favor of less options. But when it comes to shipping, we’ve come to realize that customers do have some preferences. Especially those that live in multiunit buildings where packages are not delivered properly or stolen. There are horror stories about certain providers to a customer.

So if you only offer one provider or try to simplify it for the user by suggesting “Standard” and “Expedited” – that’s not enough. Customers will compare you with others. And if they don’t like what they see – they will move on.

“Options are good. Not too many, but just enough so that the customer feels in charge”

And many customers like me, we like to buy something last minute. Even if the cost is astronomical. Just because we really need it and we don’t have any other options. So even if the majority doesn’t use it – someone might. And you’ll have closed a sale because of the option.

CTA: If your eCommerce business wants help setting up their shipping options & estimations, schedule a free 30 min consult with our team. We’ll be happy to talk about how to improve your checkout overall and what could be done specifically to enhance your shipping options.

  • avatar
    Nirav Sheth
  • Nirav is the CEO and founder of Anatta. Nirav received his engineering degree in 2006 from George Washington University. Prior to Anatta, he served as founder of Dharmaboost, a software company working with Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, and New Leaf Paper. He is also cofounder of Upscribe, a next-level subscription software for fast growing eCommerce brands.