Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How delivery timings & return policy impact online shoppers

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While online shoppers are generally very satisfied, there is room to improve their satisfaction related to shipping and returns. While free shipping is a great motivator, drawing shoppers back to sites to make repeat purchases and causing shoppers to recommend an online retailer, consumers are willing to pay a nominal fee for getting their product faster. When comparison shopping, consumers take product price and shipping charges almost equally into consideration.

There are several other things that retailers can do to improve the experience for their online shoppers. The first is to communicate the expected delivery date of the order; customers are willing to wait for their orders but want to know just how long that might be. Timely arrival of shipments encourages shoppers to recommend an online retailer. Consumers also like having tracking updates and delivery notifications to understand when their package is arriving. Online shoppers want flexibility in their shipping, particularly
the ability to give special delivery instructions or schedule a delivery time or select an alternate delivery location.

Online shoppers that have made returns prefer to have a preprinted return label in their original package or access to an easy-to-print label. Having to pay for return shipping negatively impacts the overall returns experience. A lenient and clear returns policy is likely to lead to recommendations and repeat business from online shoppers, while reducing shopping cart abandonment.

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