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May 12, 2014

How delivery options drive ecommerce sales

Do’s & don’ts

Having the right delivery options available on your eCommerce website can be the difference between making a sale or not. It’s that simple.

Once you have embraced this, there is a whole lot of work to do, but where should you start?

It can be a minefield for the most experienced eCommerce professionals, and what works on one eCommerce site might not work for the next. There’s no ‚Äòone size fits all’ approach when it comes to delivery options on your eCommerce site, but there are some Do’s and Don’ts which simply can’t be overlooked!


    • Spend £x or more for free delivery
      This is present on most websites but research your market and test what works best for you. The correlation between the free delivery thresh hold and average order value is apparent on many websites and can be a quick win to increase average order value

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    • Give the customer options
      It doesn’t need to be free. Many people are happy to pay a premium for a next day delivery. A big part of eCommerce is convenience
    • Click and collect
      Associated with convenience too but this is where online meets offline and drives users in store. If you have a retail outlet or trade counter you can’t afford to miss this!

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    • Can you offer them a time slot for delivery?
      A delivery option where a customer can pick a time slot via a calendar is very useful and helps increase conversion rate
    • Reserve the use of free delivery
      Drive key sales periods or prompt the customer to choose the most cost effective delivery
    • Make the customer aware on the basket page that if they spend ¬£x more they will get free delivery
      This is a neat little feature that works well on the basket with upsells or cross sells to increase average order value
    • Make your customers aware of your delivery rules
      This should be made clear throughout your website. Delivery details should have their own page on your website and be consistent throughout your marketing
    • Free returns are being used very effectively by websites like Next
      It’s not relevant to all but if you’re in the competitive world of fashion, letting people try a small and a medium t-shirt and return the one that doesn’t fit for free could be the difference between making the sale or not
    • Keep the customer informed while they are waiting for their delivery
      When done right it’s an opportunity to build the relationship, marketing automation masters like Amazon set the bar and increase customer loyalty
    • Work with a courier that can fulfil your requirements and be sure their systems support your requirements
      DPD keep your customers up to date with a proposed time slot via text message

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  • If you have your own transport, go the extra mile (pardon the pun) and give your team the training they need to do the job to the best of their abilities
    I think end-to-end customer service means everything in the connected world that we live in
  • Make sure your eCommerce platform and developers can support your demanding delivery rule requirements
    Platforms like Magento and modules like Premium MatrixRates or ShipperHQ from WebShopApps


  • Offer free delivery for all purchases, it should be used as an incentive to reward the customer and achieve a higher average order value
  • Hide delivery costs, customers don’t want to be surprised when they checkout with a hidden delivery cost
    This can cause customer service issues and affect conversion rate
  • Make things too complicated for your customers
    Delivery options need to be made clear for the customer throughout
  • Work with a courier with poor service levels
  • Copy your competitors
    Who said that they’ve got it right? You need to research, test and innovate where possible


Your delivery options are a key variable that need to be considered. Done right, they can drive sales, improve conversion rates and increase average order value. Done wrong, they can harm all of the above, hurt your reputation and give your competitor the advantage.

The delivery options we offer to our customers have been improving at quite a rate and with this set to continue it’s not something that any eCommerce website can ignore.

How many Do’s and Don’ts does your eCommerce website include? I’d love to hear your opinion and what works best for you.