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How displaying shipping costs can reduce your cart abandonment rate

When Shopify merchants add shipping rates calculators to their stores, they can save lost revenue by simplifying the shopping journey.

5 Minutes 11 Seconds

When we shop online, we don’t want surprises. We don’t want to learn our item is unavailable, or find out the price has suddenly jumped. One of our least favourite head-turning moments is discovering our purchases can’t be shipped to where we live, or the shipping rates are higher than expected.

When we get this sticker shock, we abandon carts quickly, without hesitation. Around half of abandoned e-commerce are due to extra costs such as shipping and tax, according to the Baynard Institute, while data from Convey found that 61% of customers are more likely to make a purchase if they see delivery information. 

Interestingly, a Shopify survey found that almost one-in-five shoppers abandoned their carts because they couldn’t calculate the total costs of their orders upfront. When store owners hide important details such as shipping rates, the customer may end up frustrated enough to leave the site altogether and head somewhere else where rate transparency is prioritized.

Such a steep cart abandonment rate leaves a 97.9% gap in conversions, costing merchants and brands an average of $2 to 4 trillion per year. Any e-commerce leader who ignores addressing this critical issue will remain on the sidelines as the more competitive brands employ solutions designed to keep customers on the site, through checkout, and into the funnel of “repeat customer.”

One of the more urgent ways to boost conversions is through adding a shipping rates calculator to your online store. After all, if customers can see how much their order will cost before they head to checkout, they won’t face any frustrating surprises.

Strong customer relationships a result of simplicity and transparency

Imagine how helpful it would be to view the shipping rates for the order you just purchased, with that data customized to your location and displayed right in the product page. That’s what an such as Shop Circle’s Shipping Rates Calculator Plus can give Shopify merchants who want to ensure they don't give customers any reason to abandon their carts.

Using a geolocation tool to find a customer’s IP address, this app can list shipping and delivery rate information with AJAX cart popups, pulling data from Shopify’s own shipping system in a matter of nanoseconds, says Faruk Eskicioglu, engineering manager at Shop Circle. “Merchants define their delivery zones, and then the app does the rest of the work,” he adds.

As Shopify merchants look for past practices to reduce friction for their customers, they are reaching most for the ones that are simple and customizable. Shipping Rates Calculator Plus can deliver that kind of personalization, particularly in how Shopify merchants want to maintain the same branding on all the widgets they add to their e-commerce properties.

Eskicioglu says the look and size and placement of the Shop Circle app can be customized to the brand’s colours, say. He also says a merchant’s coding knowledge doesn’t have to be very sophisticated to manage the shipping rates calculator’s settings, which also sports a one-click install feature.

With such an app on a Shopify store, merchants can save time handling customer service requests. As one store notes on the reviews page for Shipping Rates Calculator Plus: “Significantly reduced the amount of enquiries we received about how much shipping would be on International orders.”

Transparency should be a front-burner responsibility for forward-thinking Shopify merchants. The clearer they can be with customers, the higher the chance those customers will return for repeat purchases. In a survey of 6,000 consumers conducted by Arlington Research during Q4 2020, 67% of consumers said they wanted real-time visibility into the location of their Christmas presents from the moment the online order was processed. Delays in delivery exceeding two days angered 38% of consumers, who said they would look elsewhere for the product in those cases, and 57% said they were frustrated with the returns process for online orders.

Customers also appreciate when online stores indicate accurate delivery windows, says Yunus Emre Tekin, a senior developer at Shop Circle. When apps such as Shipping Rates Calculator Plus display the shipping rate based on the customer’s geo-location, the delivery data from Shopify is retrieved at the same time, he says. “And within the back end, the merchant can specify things such as if delivery isn’t available on weekends, or if delivery isn’t possible for certain regions, like how some US companies might not ship overseas,” Tekin notes.

These types of app can offer delivery details from carriers such as FedEx, UPS, Canada Post and many more. 

Also, another approach to shipping rates transparency is adding notes to certain products or actions. Disclosing any extra fees by mentioning them on product pages can reinforce to customers the commitment to being as upfront as possible about the total cost of their shopping journey. 

On an app such as Shop Circle’s widget, Shopify merchants can add notes with handy details, using messaging like: “FYI: you might be charged international taxes if you’re buying this outside the US.”

Shopify merchants can foster a culture of innovation by smoothing any bumps on the road for e-commerce success, and recognizing that an online business always thrives by making it as effortless as possible for customers to enjoy their products. 

Ready to eliminate the guesswork? Put shipping rates right in the cart, build trust with your customers, and watch the revenue ignite.

The Shop Circle Suite

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