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Andy Thorne

User Experience

4 Essential Factors of Successful Ecommerce Product Page – Part 4: Shipping And Returns

In the fourth and final part of our ‘4 essential elements for high converting ecommerce product pages’ blog series, we will be taking a closer look into how you can optimise your shipping and returns information to build a sense of trust and ultimately sales.

Consider this: “My #1 piece of advice is to focus on aspects of your product page that instils trust while diminishing anxiety. These usually come in the form of reviews, shipping, return policies, etc.
— David Feng, Co-Founder and Head of Product, Reamaze”

Looking for an ecommerce product page UX checklist to work through? Download ours at the bottom of this article! 

More often than not, online shoppers have to wait until they get to the basket or checkout until they find the shipping costs and return info. This presents 2 big problems:

  1. False ‘Add to basket’ data
    Your shoppers may be at a stage in their shopping cycle where they’re searching and comparing products to buy. If they can’t see the shipping costs, then they’ll likely add the product(s) to their basket to calculate them. This gives you a false ‘Add to basket’ rate, as it means that shoppers aren’t intending to go ahead with the purchase. All they’re doing is using your basket as a delivery calculator.
  2. Abandoned baskets/checkouts
    Imagine this – your shopper is ready to buy, they’ve added their products to their basket, get to the basket only to find that the delivery cost is higher than expected. What do you think they’ll do? Abandon ship (basket)! Telling your shoppers what costs to expect prior to going to the basket or checkout will manage their expectation and won’t give them the nasty shock that often turns buyers away.

To avoid false ‘Add to basket’ data and abandoned baskets, show shipping (delivery) & returns info on the product page. Here are some best practices and advice about what info you need to present:

  1. The amount of shipping & returns info required
  2. How to best present ‘free delivery’
  3. How to promote and what to include in your returns policy

The amount of shipping & returns info required on an eCommerce product page

If your users have to wait until they get to the basket to discover delivery costs 67.4% of your users are likely to abandon the shopping process.

Hubspot claims that the average checkout abandonment rate is 67.4%, so an improvement on two years ago but the majority of abandoners still cite hidden delivery charges as the main reason for cart abandonment.

It’s absolutely vital to show the user delivery information on the product page. They want to know the total order cost before they buy.

John Lewis PDP Delivery Cost Estimate

John Lewis highlight the Free standard delivery offer with a link to see other delivery options.

Consider where your users are, they’re on the product page and are in 2 states; 1 They know the product they want and are ready to buy, 2 Comparing the product with another product they’ve found on a competing site.

In both of these states, you need to make sure they can calculate the total order cost on the product page.

Remember Steve Krug’s ‘don’t make me think’ mantra. Don’t make your users think at the point of purchase. If they don’t understand the total order cost (product + delivery) they’ll abandon your site.

Should You Display Delivery Costs if Users Meet The Free Delivery Threshold?

Yes. Users need to understand delivery costs and the free delivery threshold. They’ll want to understand what it costs to get free delivery, or how much delivery is.

For smaller items, this is especially important. Imagine you’re buying a USB cable that costs £9.95 and the delivery is £10.95 (over 100% of the product price). Now if that user gets free delivery if they spend over £20, do you think they’ll spend more money on a product or swallow the delivery cost?

Therefore, it’s important that users have the information they need in order to make the right decision for them. If you don’t answer all the delivery questions at this stage, then you’ll lose out on sales.

But my delivery costs are in my really slick checkout process, isn’t that enough?

Understand the real problem. If you bury shipping details and have a high abandonment rate then what’s the point of redesigning your whole checkout process? It’s very probably linked to an information placement issue

Understand customer mindsets. Shoppers need all of the facts before committing to the purchase. Failing to reveal these facts until they’ve begun the purchase process is only setting yourself up for a fall.

Understand that you’re making things worse. Nobody likes a nasty surprise, and dropping a delivery bombshell on shoppers late into the buying process is going to leave a very bad taste, and more so if you’ve forced these shoppers to register.

Summary here…

A successful e-commerce store is one that sells the right product to the right people and converts as many visitors into sales.

There are many elements on your e-commerce store which can prevent users from buying. Understanding which elements you need to improve upon or completely redesign will ultimately dictate how successful your online store is.

For many e-commerce stores, product pages are the key element within an e-commerce store which will shape your conversion rate. Great product page experiences will lead to sales now and in the future, poor experiences will do the opposite.

In order to shape your product pages toward better conversion rates, understand and review 2 key aspects:

1. What stage is the buyer at? See the buying stage considerations here

2. Review the 4 key areas of your product page (listed in this article) and use the checklist we’ve made (download below) to ensure you include everything a user needs to make the right decision on your product pages.

Subscribe to download the checklist

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Checklist Available To Download Here: 4 Essential Factors of Successful Ecommerce Product Page - Checklist (635 downloads)

Further reading and references:

References in this 4 part series on ecommerce Product Page best practices.