Are Your Shipping Options Losing You Sales?

Ecommerce store owners often spend hours agonizing over the flow of the cart, whether there are too many images / distractions, removing insecure warnings, and making the cart easy to read and easy to check out. Lost in all of this is how shipping options are actually presented to the shopper. And what options are actually included.

It’s possible that your shipping options, as they are now, could be losing you sales.

Dropdowns are not the best choice

When it comes to how you display the available shipping options to your customers, a dropdown menu may not be the ideal solution.Sure, the dropdown may look nicer for your particular design, but it may be causing your shoppers all sorts of problems.

How so?

  • Shopper can’t easily see all of their available options
    Why hide away the prices and options as they add more items to the cart?
  • If a new option becomes available, they may miss this fact
    Maybe they now qualify for First Class Mail by removing an item… but they selected Priority initially and don’t click the menu to see if anything changed.
  • Free shipping being available may not be noticed if they initially did not qualify for free shipping
    This one will irritate your customers and result in angry emails and phone calls.

Use radio buttons for clarity

Instead of a dropdown menu for shipping, use a radio button system. This way all of the options are clearly visible on the screen.

If a new shipping option becomes available, prices change for other options, or they now qualify for free shipping, the customer can easily see and compare the choices without having to take another action by clicking the dropdown menu.

My motto – Make the customer do less, not more, to complete a sale.

Don’t overwhelm them

I’ve actually seen some stores with as many if not more options than this:

Enough options?

Don’t cause shopper paralysis where too many choices can lead to confusion and the inability of a customer to make a shipping selection. Present enough options to cater to shoppers who either want fast shipping, or the lowest cost method.

Remove options that are redundant or seldom selected.

Keep the descriptions of the options short and easy to understand. Include a link or shipping table to explain how each method works if you think they customers may not fully understand all the choices.

Don’t neglect how your shipping options are presented to the customer. Make them easy to find, easy to compare, and easy to understand. That’ll make it easy for shoppers to hand over their money.

What have you found that works well when it comes to shipping options in a cart?

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