Ahh the shipping page. The un-welcome step in every ecommerce site's checkout process. For the reason that a lot of sites fail to answer basic questions such as "how long will it take?" or "how much will it cost?" many sales are lost at this significant juncture. Some research displays that shipping concerns top the list of reasons why people abandon shopping carts. Below, I've listed some shipping best practices that I've used that help streamline the process for both the customer and the company.
First: Don't Require Login to View Pricing: Don't make your clients jump through hoops in order to get a shipping price. Customers should be able to see the cost for e-commerce shipping on the shopping cart page. If you base your prices on the location where the order will be shipped, give individuals the ability to enter their zip code for a quote.
Second: Info on Product Page: Questions about order fulfillment shipping should be addressed early and often. A popup link on the product page is a great way to give customers price quotes or shipping time estimates.
Third: Link to Shipping Page from Shopping Cart: In the shopping cart where customers select the shipping method, be sure to link to a page with more information regarding each option. On this page, specify estimated delivery dates for each region.
Third: International Shipping Page: International shipping can be complex, so be sure to give a detailed explanation in order to calm the fears of international shoppers. Explain possible delays, and well as customs fees the customer can expect to pay.
Fourth: Don't Make Shipping a Profit Center: Customers are very sensitive to high shipping prices, so don't jack up your rates for profit.
Sixth:Offer Free Shipping at Level Above your Average Order: If your average order is $50, consider offering free shipping at $60 in order to increase your average order. If you want to learn more about ecommerce shipping, you can visit http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/learner-english/e-commerce.
Seventh: Rate Shop the Carriers: By having your shipping software rate-shop the major carriers, you'll be able to select the cheapest shipping method to a specific regions. One of my clients saved an average of $1 per order by rate shopping UPS, Fedex, and USPS with shipping software from HarveySoft.
Eigth: Show Delivery Estimates by Region: On your shipping page, show a map of UPS or Fedex estimated delivery times based on region.
Ninth: Ship Next Business Day: I can't stand it when companies sit on your order for days before it ships. Make it a point to process orders within 1 business day.