Shopping cart abandonment is a problem in the eCommerce world. In fact, trillions of dollars in business is lost every year due to cart abandonment—and that doesn’t count the time and money spent trying to get those customers back through email and retargeting ad campaigns.

Amazingly in 2017, according to an article on Chargebacks911, “Consumers added more than $9 trillion to online shopping carts in 2017 but due to shopping cart abandonment, only about 25% of that total will ultimately make it through the checkout process."

Free shipping –and more accurately, the lack of it—has become a major driver of that abandonment, with 61% of online shoppers blaming high shipping costs, taxes, and fees for their abandonment.

According to findings in the January 2018 edition of Consumer View, a quarterly report issued by the National Retail Federation (NRF) that gauges consumer behavior and shopping trends related to stores, online channels, and other topics, of those shopping online, 68 percent expect free shipping even on purchases of less than $50. Meanwhile, another 47 percent say they typically abandon their cart if shipping isn’t free. And 38 percent expect two-day shipping to be free while 24 percent expect free same-day shipping.

NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said in that report, “Consumers today want what they want when they want it and they don’t expect to pay a premium to get it fast.” And he is not wrong.

So, with that in mind, how can e-tailers control their shipping costs, remain competitive, and retain margins all at the same time? Well, that is where it gets tricky.

While we talked about some of the cost-cutting measures for shipping previously, improving the customer experience is the second prong in a two-pronged approach to deliver what the customer wants and keep your profits in line:

  • Offer Shipping Choices Early and Often
  • Offer More Delivery Choices
  • Automate Shipping, Tracking, and Confirmation
  • Automate Self-Service Returns