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E-Commerce: Web delivery options

I’m the owner of a small accessories boutique and have a transactional website. How flexible do I need to be with delivery options?

Carl Davies, CEO, Dealgroupmedia UK Ltd

The key here is to make sure you’re customers feel they are getting value for money whilst at the same time not eating unnecessarily into your margin. It also depends on how your business strategy allows for stock movement at different value levels. For single low value purchases, you are unlikely to want to cover the postage, and I think most consumers understand that, although the comparatively high cost of postage will put some consumers off and you may not shift as much of this stock.

For higher value purchases you may want to consider capping the postage at a fixed amount and for orders over a certain amount waive it completely. This will appeal to a customers sense of value, and you will be seen to be giving something back. You may also want to consider offering the consumer a choice of first or second class delivery, putting the cost options in their control, although this may increase your logistical obligation. Ideally try and appeal to many potential customers as possible without overburdening them with choice and ‘road blocking’ the transaction process.

Fadi Shuman, e-commerce director and founder of Pod1:

Delivery options and delivery charges are some of the top reasons why websites lose out on sales. Your delivery policy must be very clear and should at least provide a reasonable service to the customer. Waiting any more than trhee days for delivery will most likely lose you customers.

There’s a lot of competition out there so if you want to maximise your conversion rates, then you need to be doing everything you can to get the product to the customer.

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