Shipping affects revenue. Your e–commerce shipping strategy has the potential to impact your conversion rate of first-time customers, as a bad shipping experience can turn away repeat buyers. 

So, what can you do to improve your shipping strategy in the middle of what may be the most challenging delivery period on record? After all, e–commerce companies and shipping Carriers are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, lockdowns, and Peak Season all at once. 

Fortunately, there are ways you can ensure that your shipping experience fosters brand loyalty instead of destroying it, include partnering with a strong Service Provider, streamlining returns, and automating communication.

In this post, we explore why shipping is so critical to the online shopping experience and how to level up your own e–commerce shipping strategy. 

Special welcome offers to try ShippyPro & FedEx international shipping services! Save 40% on FedEx account opening rates & use ShippyPro for free for 30 days!

The importance of shipping in the online shopping experience

In 2019, 93% of consumers said that shipping options are an important factor in their online shopping experience (in 2014, only 24% of consumers said the same thing). Clearly, the importance of flexible shipping options has skyrocketed in recent years. 

If the delivery experience is poor, 84% of consumers say they are unlikely to shop with that brand again.

In other words, your shipping strategy can have an enormous impact on converting new customers (who will be reviewing shipping options and costs before purchasing) and with existing customers (who will be recalling your shipping experience before deciding to shop with you again). 

Here are some of the factors that your customers might expect depending on your target market and what your competitors offer:

  • Multiple delivery options based on delivery dates and time
  • Convenient pickup points
  • Free shipping with a reasonable minimum purchase
  • Flat rate shipping
  • Email and text notifications
  • On-time delivery and convenient delivery options

Take some time to review what your competitors offer and consider surveying former customers about the shipping experience to find out if they were satisfied with it, or if it failed to meet their expectations. 

How to setup the best shipping strategy during the pandemic 

Now that we understand just how much shipping affects the customer experience as well as revenue, let’s take a look at ways to improve your own shipping strategy. 

Acknowledge the combined challenges of COVID-19 lockdowns and Peak Season shopping

First, it’s important to recognize the severity of this year’s shipping requirements. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is sure to make Peak Season shipping even more challenging. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Canada, and Spain have all experienced growth rates of higher than 30% when comparing November 2019 e–commerce activity with that of December 2020. 

Undoubtedly, your typical Carrier and shipping processes will be put to the test and you would need to consider whether your current strategy has the capacity to adapt. 

Partner with a strong Carrier like FedEx

To give your e–commerce business the best chance of satisfying customer demands during 2020’s unique version of Peak Season, you need to partner with a solid Carrier. 

FedEx is one of the strongest Carriers when it comes to handling the demands of COVID-19 as well as holiday shopping. With its local and international operations, FedEx is able to deliver with continuous speed so you can keep your promises to your customers. They also offer a variety of service levels and speed to meet customer requirements. Whether it’s making sure your customers get that last minute gift, or choosing more economical shipping, FedEx has you covered.   

Take advantage of our welcome offers to try FedEx & ShippyPro international shipping services! Save 40% on FedEx account opening rates & use ShippyPro for free for 30 days!

Automatically communicate with customers throughout the shipping process

It’s essential to update your customers about the delivery process at every stage. Whether the news is good or bad, customers need to know if their delivery will arrive on time so they can take appropriate action, whether that’s to buy a replacement elsewhere or wait it out. 

Shipping notifications are deemed important by 82% of consumers. Offer proactive email and SMS messages about both standard delivery processes as well as delays with FedEx® Delivery Manager.

Simplify returns for everyone

Your return process is a large part of your e–commerce shipping strategy because it affects customers’ likelihood to purchase with you both initially and as a repeat customer. Simplify returns with printable return labels that can be either included in the original shipment or produced automatically upon request and sent via email. 

Take advantage of FedEx and ShippyPro’s holiday offer

Through our collaboration with FedEx, we’ve come up with an amazing special offer that can help you deliver packages on time, communicate proactively and automatically, as well as drastically simplify returns. 

To satisfy customers’ demands amidst Peak Season and the pandemic, we recommend that you take advantage of this special offer which includes:

  • 40% savings on FedEx account opening fees
  • 30 days free trial of ShippyPro so you can test our best features

Learn more about our special offer in partnership with FedEX.

Promote your incredible shipping services to convert customers

Now that you have incredible shipping services, how can you promote them to increase your conversion rate of first-time customers?

Make sure to clarify your great shipping experience in several key places:

  • The shipping and returns page (typically linked clearly in the bottom of most e–commerce sites)
  • On the checkout page before payment to encourage shoppers to complete the checkout process
  • In an announcement bar at the top of your site, especially for assuring customers of fast delivery options and before-Christmas delivery

Peak Season 2020 presents a big challenge for e–commerce brands. Online shopping is up compared to 2019 levels due to COVID-19 safety concerns as well as governmental restrictions. However, consumers expect just as timely deliveries as they did last year. Their expectations for fast delivery might have even gone up, especially when they’re purchasing items that they would typically have bought in-store.

Positively impact your revenue this season by offering an e–commerce shipping strategy that improves your conversion rates. Additionally,  you’ll have a much higher chance of turning new shoppers into loyal customers. 

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