How fast shipping affects conversions across marketplaces

Author : Guest Writer February 27, 2019

eCommerce is a tough gig. You’re competing against other sellers, brands and online marketplaces, not to mention social media, videos, and that big thing beyond the screen…real life. No wonder nearly seven out of every ten visitors to your Shopify store aren’t making it through the checkout. But what if we told you that there was a simple way to increase your customer conversions using fast shipping?

Research across the eCommerce industry shows the single most influential factor in customer conversions is shipping, and we’re here to tell you why.

What are customer conversions?

Customer conversion is simply someone visiting your Shopify store or online marketplace and proceeding through the checkout to buy products from you. Aside from the initial sale, customer conversions result in:

  • The opportunity to build a long-term relationship that results in more sales;

  • Return on marketing investment, such as PPC; and

  • The opportunity to benefit from positive customer feedback and referrals.

Overall, increased customer conversions across your online marketplaces result in more sales and bigger profits. One of the biggest drivers of customer conversions? Fast shipping.

How fast shipping can drive your customer conversions

Fast shipping is great. You get items out of the door quickly, and your customer receives their items quickly – it’s a win-win situation for everyone. But aside from the obvious speed benefits, how can fast shipping drive you customer conversions and eCommerce business profits?

Reduced cart abandonment

According to research by the Baymard Institute, 18% of online shoppers will abandon their shopping cart because of slow delivery options – that’s nearly one in every five shoppers. Even worse, eCommerce experts agree that this figure is on the rise. Reduce this happening by offering customers different delivery speed and cost combinations and, if it happens anyway, highlight your fast shipping options in your LimeSpot Personalized Email Campaigns to draw them back.

Increased CLV

A fast and outstanding shipping experience encourages customers to use you again, visit you more often and spend more each time – also known as customer lifetime value. Once you have demonstrated to a new customer that you can deliver items at speed, they won’t hesitate in trusting you to do it again. And, if you offer the added benefit of free shipping, you can drive higher sales as customers scramble to meet minimum order values.

Competitive search results

Fast shipping benefits your search rankings, too. Online shoppers filtering on fast shipping will find you easier, and online marketplaces favor those on their fast shipping programs such as Walmart Free-2-Day Shipping, giving higher search result positions and favorability when it comes to winning the buy box.

Increased trust

There are a lot of eCommerce sellers out there, and it’s difficult for online shoppers to know who to trust – especially when they haven’t bought from someone before. Having fast shipping tags and appearing on fast shipping programs like eBay Guaranteed Delivery gives customers that seal of approval and added brand trust – making them more likely to buy from you.

Competition

Standing out from the crowd can be difficult when you begin selling on multiple marketplaces. Even when you do get customers into your online store, getting them through your checkout before they check out a competitor is hard. 66% will buy from your competitors if they offer more shipping options than you do. Providing faster and more cost-effective shipping options than your competitors makes you more attractive and more likely to convert customers.

Considerations for fast shipping

Of course, fast shipping isn’t without its challenges, which must be appropriately managed to avoid further damaging your conversion rates.

Cost

Free and affordable shipping is a top priority for your customers. 80% are influenced by free shipping, and 66% won’t buy an item based on shipping costs. But, how do you absorb shipping fees without damaging your profits?

Offer customers different speed and cost combinations, and reduce your shipping costs by using all-inclusive product pricing, avoiding branded boxes and using a fulfillment cost calculator to see if outsourced fulfillment can save you money. Shopify eCommerce store owners save between 15 – 35% on shipping rates by outsourcing fulfillment.

Accuracy

Saying that you’ll delivery quickly is great. Failing to delivery quickly can be catastrophic. If you underdeliver on your shipping promises, customers will likely leave you and leave negative reviews while doing so. In fact, nearly one in five customers won’t ever return again. Ensure that you can fulfill the delivery estimations on each of your sales channels, by trialing fast shipping services or using a fulfillment provider who can use their expertise, staff, and geographical locations to guarantee fast delivery.

Multiple sales channels

Following on from accuracy is the need to ensure that you can handle the increase in order volume that selling on multiple marketplaces brings. Invest in multi-channel management tools, extra staff, and increased warehousing space, or team up with a fulfillment service who can integrate directly with your multiple sales channels, automatically syncing orders, adding tracking numbers and delivering your orders, no matter how busy you get.

How to achieve fast shipping

If you’re eager to increase your sales conversions through fast shipping, taking into account the above considerations while you’re at it, you have two options:

In-house fulfillment

This hands-on option has the added benefits of increased control and visibility over your fulfillment process – sourcing, storing, packing and shipping products yourself. But, for eCommerce businesses selling on multiple marketplaces, in-house fulfillment becomes increasingly difficult. If your eCommerce business is struggling to stay on top of its inventory, quickly ship orders and handle the increased operational costs, it’s time to consider outsourcing fulfillment.

Outsourced fulfillment

This hands-off fulfillment option gives you extra time and capacity, as an outsourced logistics provider handles the storage, packing, and shipping of your products. You benefit from their shipping expertise, geographical locations, fast delivery guarantees and volume shipping costs, allowing you to increase your eCommerce sales conversions without worry.

Tip: Calculate your outsourced fulfillment costs on Deliverr’s cost calculator.

So, there you have it. Fast shipping increases your customer conversions through reduced cart abandonment, higher search rankings, increased trust and standing out from your competition. Whatsmore, when done right it can result in lower shipping costs, and land you cheaper operational costs, better customer reviews and more time to grow your business across multiple marketplaces.

About the Author

This is a guest post from Michael Krakaris. Michael is one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and the co-founder of Deliverr. Deliverr provides fast and affordable fulfillment for your eBay, Walmart and Shopify stores, helping to boost sales through programs like Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping and eBay Guaranteed Delivery.

Deliverr’s FBA-like multi-channel fulfillment comes with clear pricing, easy on-boarding and a hassle free experience so you can focus on growing your eCommerce business.