Neat Team October 24, 2020 1:59 pm

How to prevent cart abandonment with shipping

This is a guest post by Michelle Mondonedo, Content Marketer at

Cart abandonment is when a customer leaves your checkout without completing their purchase, and it is a huge problem in eCommerce. According to the Baymard Institute, about 69% of customers on average abandon their online shopping cart.

There are multiple reasons. One of the main ones is “surprise” extra costs such as shipping and taxes at checkout.

It’s tempting to solve this problem by simply offering free shipping. But if your customer isn’t paying for shipping, that means you will be – and that’s where it can get risky.

If your business is profitable enough, it might be no big deal to pick up the tab for the cheapest rates available. But by choosing the cheapest shipping rates, you’ll get what you pay for. This will mean longer delivery times, limited tracking options, and a low chance of recovering your shipment if it gets lost.

The good news is that it’s easy to optimise your paid shipping options to ensure you convert as many customers as possible.

First, start by getting rid of a static checkout with flat rates.

Image of static checkout with flat rates
Flat shipping rates are bad in eCommerce because:
  1. Unless you’re sure about the breakeven weight for your flat rate, more often than not, you’ll end up paying more than if you paid for exact weight.
  2. Flat rates do not show the breakdown of shipping costs or any information about the courier. Not having this transparency can discourage customers from completing their purchase.

Instead, offer calculated rates based on the weight and dimension of your products, in addition to the location of the customer.

One way to do this is to check if your eCommerce platform has a functionality that allows you to offer calculated rates. If they do, you’ll have to create an account with a courier (such as USPS, UPS, and FedEx) so you can show your own negotiated rates at checkout.

If you don’t have the time to explore different couriers and do rates comparisons, there is another option for you!

Easyship offers a Rates at Checkout plugin that shows the cheapest, fastest, and best value for money shipping options at checkout.

Example of checkout

These calculated rates take into account the weight and dimensions of your product. They also include the location of the customer’s address.

It also provides full visibility on all costs associated with shipping, showing the exact amount of tax & duty and communicating any additional handling fees that may apply. This is especially useful when you’re shipping internationally.

This plugin is compatible with stores on major eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopmatic.

Now, if you take a closer look at the checkout with calculated rates, you’ll notice that multiple couriers are being shown.

Working with multiple couriers is a great way to reduce shipping costs. If you have a target market that is in one specific region, using a regional courier can work to your advantage.

Regional couriers are good alternatives to major express couriers. They provide slightly cheaper rates and are faster than your typical government postal service.

Examples of regional couriers include Aramex (Middle East), Sky Postal (South America), and SF Express (Mainland China).

Easyship has partnerships with the above couriers, in addition to other postal, regional, and major express couriers to offer over 100 shipping solutions. And, we’ve already negotiated discounted rates, so you don’t have to. All you need is one account to access all of these options!

Lastly, while this isn’t exactly part of the checkout experience, having a return policy that is simple and easy to understand can help solidify sales. According to a UPS study, 66% of shoppers review a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase.

Customers like knowing that if they aren’t happy with their purchase, they have the option to return.

If offering free shipping is not a promotion your store can handle at the moment there are alternatives. You can consider offering free shipping on returns. As returns are less likely, this could be a good promotion for your store. It could help close sales and build trust with new customers.

If you need help generating a return policy, check out Volusion’s Free Return Policy Generator.

In conclusion

Unexpected fees at checkout are a major reason why customers abandon their cart. Therefore, it’s important that your checkout reflects all shipping and handling costs. Customers need to know what they’re paying for and what kind of service to expect.

Showing calculated rates at your store’s checkout reduces the chances of your customers getting sticker shock. This will in turn encourage them to complete the checkout.

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