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Before The Final Click

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Posted May 17, 2001 By Robyn Greenspan     Feedback

On the Internet, it's common knowledge you're paying for convenience. But your customers don't want to feel ripped off by having to pay more only to be inconvenienced by an excessively long shipping time. So, there are certain features that your site should have to please impatient shoppers. Here are some key points to keep in mind when developing your site.

When I shop online for something specific, I have a general idea of what I consider to be an acceptable price and expected delivery time. I certainly can be flexible if there is a good enough reason - for example, getting an item at half price if I wait twice as long for delivery. I am also willing to pay a little bit extra if I need something sooner rather than later.

On the Internet, it's common knowledge you're paying for convenience. But your customers don't want to feel ripped off by having to pay more only to be inconvenienced by an excessively long shipping time. So, there are certain features that your site should have to please impatient shoppers. Keep these points in mind when developing your site:

  • When a customer selects something for the shopping cart let them know right away if the item is in stock. An email informing them that something is out of stock after an order has been placed is unacceptable. If that knowledge is made available before the purchase, customers may order a comparable item that they could receive right away.
  • Let the customer know what the total cost, including shipping, will be before the final click. There's nothing like finding out, after the fact, that your shipping cost more than your order.
  • Provide realistic and updated shipping times for the customer. Let the customer know if there's been a change in the delivery schedule, and if possible, provide a tracking number so they can see the whereabouts of their package at any given time.
  • If you've had problems with delayed deliveries in the past, sometimes offering the customer a shipping upgrade or waiving the charge completely eases the pain and shows your customers that they do count.

Remember- you want the last impression of your site to be a good one.

Here are a couple of articles that reinforce the importance of inexpensive and timely shipping:

Free Shipping Is Key Incentive for Online Shoppers

Online Shoppers Lured by Low Costs, Free Shipping

Reprinted from ECommerce Guide.

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