3 Shipping Rate Tips to Avoid Abandoned Carts
Written by Matt Gemmell
Maximize sales and profit while minimizing abandoned carts
If there’s one challenge common to every industry selling online, it’s abandoned carts. An average of nearly 70% of shopping carts end up abandoned without checking out according to a recent study1, and recapturing lost carts represents a huge growth opportunity for any business.
The most common reason for abandoning carts is by far encountering unexpected costs at checkout. We’ve all had a shopping experience online that’s been ruined by a surprise shipping cost that makes us think twice about a purchase. But shipping costs are a reality for any business, and to simply absorb that cost isn’t always feasible, so what can we do to reduce abandoned carts while maintaining profitability?
Shipping Rate Best Practices
Here are a few accepted best practices for reducing abandoned carts due to shipping costs:
1. Be upfront about shipping charges
Nobody likes to be surprised at the till, and the easiest way to prevent any surprise charges at checkout is to be upfront about all costs and fees. Show shipping costs in the cart as soon as they are added. Shipping costs are difficult to predict accurately without the receiver’s address. Offering in-cart shipping estimates with a log in, you can also encourage customers to create an account, giving you the ability to remarket to them later as well.
2. Offer flat-rate shipping
Whenever possible, offer shipping at a flat rate. Try to choose a rate that is low enough to not be discouraging to potential customers, but high enough that it’s not eating up all your profit.
An up-front flat rate is preferable, but if offering a flat rate on every order is not something you're able to do, consider making it an incentive for certain order values. Showing a customer that if they get that second or third bottle they were considering qualifies them for a better shipping rate can sometimes be the nudge they need to spend a little bit more, and leave them feeling better about their purchase.
3. Use free shipping rewards
The best way to simultaneously avoid abandoned carts and encourage customers to place larger orders is with free shipping rewards for orders of a certain size. Like the previous examples, communication is key! Let visitors know that free shipping is available for orders of 6 bottles or more before they start adding bottles to the cart. Once they start creating a cart, reinforce the rewards by showing how close they are to the goalpost.
Next Steps / Implementation
In Commerce7, once shipping rates are set up, any repeat customer shopping on a device they’ve used before will automatically see shipping rates in the cart as they shop based on their last order’s ship-to address.
For rewards click here and read about the in-cart carrot system. This system allows you to set up a visual cart-based promotion. The easiest example of which is free or discounted shipping for orders over a certain amount of dollars or bottles. You can even create a carrot trail by offering multiple tiers of rewards that will continue to show in the cart and encourage more shopping.
For example, show shipping costs up front regardless of order size. Then, incentivize customers by offering flat shipping rates for orders over a certain value. Once they get to that reward, the trail changes to show progress to free shipping. This process of encouragement and reward is an extremely effective way to reduce abandoned carts while increasing your average order value!
Thoughts or comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org