Have any of the members of SuN ever thought about things we all assume to be accepted business practices, then find they are not when it comes to the web?
Let me tell you why I bring this up. In my industry, my company deals with businesses, including web retailers that ship products of all types. When businesses come to us, most act like shipping costs are just a negative sales expense that customers will pay with no questions asked. They assume this to be a fact because it has always been that way.
So, I ask you, have you ever seen a study or any other facts to supports the fact customers expect to pay shipping costs? I am in the industry and have not found anything!
This makes me rethink this “accepted” practice. Maybe it is not true that we should not worry about shipping costs just because they can be passed to the customers. Yes, it is so heavily assumed to be a fact that the carriers even provide free API’s to make these calculations at our web sites. But is this good for my business and my customers? Is the web a different market that does not support these old ways of mail order catalog and business “freight plus” thinking?
The truth is shipping costs are a leading form of shopping cart abandonment. There are studies that back this up. Another fact is if the actual shipping costs are used, the farther away your customer is from your businesses, the more likely it is that they will not buy your product because of shipping costs. So why do we spend so much time and money continuing to use the old outdated concepts and practices?
Has any one discovered better ways to deal with shipping at your web site? I just do not understand why this has not been brought into question as we develop new retail web sites more. What are your thoughts?
Bert at Harvey Software, Inc.
Multi-Carrier Shipping Software and Supply Chain Solutions for Internet Retailers
Also a provider of free shipping information and resources at Harvey Software`s Parcel Shipping Blog along with free tracking solutions at TrackingPage.com...