Jun 20

IN THE NEWS: For online shoppers, what matters more: convenience or free shipping?

Photo credit: Creative Tools (flickr.com)

Something that drives me up the wall is when I’m online shopping and go to click on my virtual shopping cart to check out and notice that the shipping cost actually totals MORE than the cost of the item. Really? Come on.

For online shoppers, what are some of the most important aspects that factor into whether or not they follow through with a purchase? According to a survey conducted by comScore, ease of checkout and product variety are still more important than issues pertaining to shipping. However, shipping still matters greatly to customers.

When the respondents were asked what aspect of the shopping process could be improved by online retailers, the top response was free or discounted shipping. 58% of respondents listed this as their top concern.

42% of respondents wanted improvements on ease of returns/exchanges and 38% wanted better online tracking ability. 28% of respondents would like more flexibility with delivery options and 28% wanted more shipping options.

High shipping costs was also the main reason why shoppers would abandon a cart before completing a purchase. 57% of respondents said that they add items to their shopping cart to figure out what the total cost would be with shipping included. This is something I am all too familiar with as well.

Other than high shipping costs, other reasons why a customer would abandon a cart are due to comparison shopping, long/confusing checkout processes, too much personal information required during checkout, or simply because the customer changed his/her mind.

To build customer loyalty and increase customer satisfaction – as well as avoid shopping cart abandonment – here are some tips (you can view these tips as a infographic too):

  • Include thumbnails of products in the shopping cart so customers know they’re buying the right item
  • Make changing details (such as on shipping address, removing items) on the checkout page easy
  • Include a progress indicator (what stage of the checkout process the customer is currently at)
  • If buyers abandon cart, let them know the items will be stored for later