How to Improve Delivery Options and Reduce Cart Abandonment

05 July 2022
by Cieron Bradbury

Shopping cart abandonment is a fact of life that all eCommerce websites have to deal with.

No eCommerce owner likes looking at abandoned cart rates — and for good reason. The global average cart abandonment rate stands at a touch over 69%, according to Statista.

In other words, the vast majority of your users abandon their cart before making a purchase. There are many reasons for this. Consumer behaviour factors like window shopping and saving products for later play a role, but delivery-related issues are a particularly thorny problem.

Luckily, they can be easy to resolve. In this article, we’ll analyse why delivery issues are such a hurdle at checkout and what your store can do to improve your cart abandonment rate.

Why do Users Abandon Their Carts?

There are many delivery-related reasons why users abandon their carts.

High Additional Costs

Do you charge a lot for delivery? If so, it could be putting off potential customers. High and unexpected costs are a major cause of shopping cart abandonment. Research by Statista shows almost 63% of people don’t complete their purchase for this reason. You can have the best-priced product on the market, but if you can’t deliver it to customers for a reasonable fee they won’t be interested.

Unexpected Delivery Fees

Most customers are reasonable. They know that shipping products costs money and brands that offer free shipping are taking a financial hit. That’s why they’re fine to occasionally pay a small additional fee. Problems occur, however, when delivery charges skyrocket. This is a particular issue for cross-border customers. It’s a bit of a kick in the teeth to see that it only costs local customers a couple of quid for delivery, but they’re being charged £50 or more.

No Express Shipping Available

Your customers want their goods as soon as possible, and many are willing to pay extra for the service. Problems occur, however, when there’s no express shipping option at checkout. If your customer needs a new dress days before a big event or has forgotten a relative’s birthday, they can’t afford to wait up to seven days for delivery. They’ll shop elsewhere, instead.

Slow delivery

Sometimes even standard delivery options aren’t fast enough. That’s right, it’s not just a lack of express delivery options that can cause cart abandonment, slow delivery times can force people to stores like Amazon, too.

No Free Shipping Option

For better or worse, free shipping has become a staple of online retail. Customers expect you to offer some kind of free shipping option (even if it is slow). Failing to do so can send them packing.

Return Policy Is Not Satisfactory

Your returns policy is almost as important as your delivery options. Because online shoppers don’t have the luxury of trying products on before purchase, many are keen to check a brand’s return policy before entering their card details. If you don’t offer the option of a free or reasonably priced return, customers may abandon their carts.

No Estimated Delivery

Customers expect to be told roughly when their goods will turn up before making payment. Doing so reassures customers that you have an effective delivery process in place, something that’s even more important when ordering from a foreign brand. A relatively small delivery window, say 1-2 days, is acceptable. But any bigger, or no estimated delivery time at all, isn’t going to cut it with most customers.

Not Shipping to Their Country

There’s nothing worse for the foreign shopper than diligently browsing products, adding the best items to their bag and proceeding to checkout only to be told that the retailer doesn’t ship to their country. In this case, the brand is forcing a would-be paying customer to abandon their cart — even if that user really wanted to complete the purchase.

How Can Retailers Improve Delivery Options to Reduce Cart Abandonment?

Delivery-related shopping cart abandonments don’t have to be a fact of eCommerce life. There are several strategies retailers can adopt to improve cart abandonment rates and deliver a better user experience in the process.

Offer Shoppers Free or Reduced Shipping Costs

One of the easiest ways to reduce delivery-related cart abandonment is to offer free or very cheap shipping. Of course, this is easier said than done. But if brands can find a way to reduce shipping costs or offer free shipping above a certain order value, customers will reward them for it. In some cases, slightly raising prices to offset additional delivery costs can decrease cart abandonment while also increasing revenue.

Working with an experienced 3PL provider can pay dividends here. At Pro Carrier, for instance, our carrier-agnostic approach means we can find the best delivery prices for every retailer, so you and your customers always get the best deal.

Offer Express Delivery

A not-insignificant percentage of potential customers will always look for brands with the quickest delivery times. Make sure you win their business by offering an express delivery option at checkout.

This option should be available regardless of the end destination. For instance, we can organise express shipping options throughout Europe. It doesn’t matter where your customers live, they can always get their products in a matter of days.

Be Transparent About All Costs

Hiding the cost of shipping until the final checkout page is a surefire way to alienate potential customers and send them hurrying to competitors. Instead, be clear about delivery costs throughout the customer journey. Strategies include:

  • Displaying delivery costs in a header menu on every product page
  • Creating a delivery costs page and displaying it clearly in every menu bar.
  • Displaying delivery costs in the shopping basket dropdown
  • Breaking down delivery costs on checkout pages

Even if customers are ordering from abroad, you should still do your best to display the total cost of purchase as early as possible. Integrate your store with Pro Carrier, for instance, and delivery costs are automatically calculated at checkout, so customers can see exactly how much they’re paying.

Create A Solid Return And Refund Policy

Creating a fair and generous returns policy is a great way to show customers you care about their experience and improve the customer journey post-checkout.

If you already have a great returns policy, make sure it is visible on your site. Link to it in your site’s footer and include it on every checkout page. The more confidence users have in your policy, the more likely they are to hit pay.

Increase Cross-Border Trade

Don’t let the location of potential customers stop you from improving your shopping cart abandonment rates. Working with a cross-border 3PL partner who can seamlessly increase your delivery options can open the door to thousands of more sales, more revenue and lower cart abandonment rates.

Reduce Delivery-Related Cart Abandonments with Pro Carrier

Pro Carrier’s cross-border eCommerce service has been designed to optimise the customer experience and provide a seamless service for retailers and their clients. We integrate with almost every major eCommerce platform, so you can use our services (delivery across Europe, express delivery, automated delivery fee calculations, etc.) to improve your site’s shopping cart abandonment rate instantly.

Find out more by speaking to one of our experts today.

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