E-commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe and North America. According to the latest figures from the Centre for Retail Research, online sales in Europe are expected to grow again to reach £182.80 billion in 2016 – an increase of almost 17% over the previous year – and £215.38 billion in 2017.
As customers become more tech-savvy, they’re also becoming more accustomed to buying goods from retailers from overseas. Perhaps the major barrier for consumers, though, is the cost of the additional shipping fees. One of the ways you can combat this, however, is to implement a real-time shipping calculator on your website.
What Is A Shipping Calculator?
This will give your customer an instantaneous quote of exactly what they’ll have to pay. It will also take into account any changes in the shipping rates in your country, so you can be sure you’re customers are paying the latest rates. This way, you won’t be stuck paying more than you charged for your shipping and, likewise, if prices are reduced, your customers can take advantage of these savings as well.
By adopting a real-time shipping calculator like this, you can expect to earn considerable goodwill from your customers as they’ll know you aren’t trying to gouge them on additional fees.
How Does It Work?
Many website builders, like Squarespace or Shopify, allow you to easily implement a shipping calculator into your storefront. You can see this in action here, on the TNT Direct website. Not only can this feature be used by overseas shoppers, but domestic customers can also take advantage of it.
You can include options for premium delivery services, like express shipping for customers who need an item right away, or the option of a tracking number for those that want the extra peace of mind when they decide to shop online.
Is it Worth It?
Ultimately, whether you decide to include this feature, will be dependent on whether or not you feel it will increase your potential sales. While it’s true that free shipping is by far the most important option to shoppers – in a study by MarketingSherpa, 83% of those surveyed said that free shipping would make them more likely to shop online – this isn’t the only way you can entice new customers to your storefront.
In fact, 62% of those asked said that one-day shipping was also an important feature to them. If you want to maximise your sales, you should focus on offering your customers a number of different options.