The future of delivery: How to lower basket abandonment

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Leigh Mardon

Reading time: 4 minutes

One of the biggest trends emerging in eCommerce this year revolves around delivery. In 2017, many consumers are expecting to receive their first same-day delivery either at home, work or a collection point. US shop Walmart have even teamed up with the likes of Uber to offer the speediest delivery yet.

The ‘uber-ization’ of shopping means that around 66% of customers will not hesitate to abandon basket if the delivery options are not satisfactory. So what are the needs of today’s consumers? With faster, cheaper delivery options becoming the norm, how do you ensure shoppers are satisfied and remain loyal to your site?

What do they want?

  1. Fast and cost effective
  2. Click & Collect options
  3. Good communication
  4. Clear return policy

Source: Digital Marketing Magazine

Fast & cost effective

For UK shoppers the most important things is the cost of delivery, Free delivery is not vital but 83% of 3,000 surveyed said they would wait longer if the costs were lower. However this year, eCommerce is heavily focusing on speed and convenience. Amazon are at the forefront of this trend, offering free same-day delivery to it’s “prime” members in 27 cities in the US. As for convenience, around half of the survey said they would pay more if the delivery suited them; which indicates that time and place play an important role too.

Offer more delivery options

Nowadays people work weekdays, weeknights, even weekends, so offering a good range of home delivery options and time slots is key to retaining custom. Standard delivery, next-day, even same day are the most common options. Name-day delivery is becoming increasingly popular, including an allocated time-slot so a customer knows exactly when their item with arrive.

More than just home delivery

Second to home delivery, the survey found that 47% of UK shoppers favour the use of a Click & Collect or pick-up service for fulfilment. Almost a quarter of all multi channel retailers now offer this fulfilment option and it’s popularity is expected to continually rise.

Offer Click & Collect options

There are many different versions of ‘Click & Collect’ these include in-store collect, in-store reserve or using special pick-up locations and lockers. Second to home delivery, collection is the next most popular option for delivery so including some form of it could help target a large portion of the market.

Asos do not have a high street presence so are currently using Collect+ services. Offering customers the chance to collect deliveries from lockers in other shops is a great way to target buyers who do not want home delivery and help reduce a loss in sales.
It’s even possible to collect larger items, Ikea have now opened six drop-off point in Canada so people can order online and collection at special locations.

Good communication

Unsurprisingly, customer’s constantly seek reassurance that their items have been dispatch and are on the way. 93%, emphasised the importance of receiving an email confirmation that their order has been placed and then the majority will track the package throughout. It’s also important to have clearly defined delivery options disclosed from the beginning. 83% said they want to see them displayed before the checkout.

Source: Digital Marketing Magazine

Provide clear and concise delivery options

Good communication throughout fulfilment is an essential part of the delivery process and can help build a trusting relationship. Firstly, there should be concise and easy to locate delivery options available on your site before the basket.

On the Currys website you can easily navigate to delivery page from various locations on the site. The options are clearly defined and they even have a section called ‘ideal options for you’. It’s an extra bit of guidance that explains how you can pick a delivery, long before checkout, to suit you.

For the customers peace of mind, send them emails through the fulfilment process. All it takes is a confirmation email and then another informing them it has been dispatched. It’s also advisable to include customer service contact details. Should there be any issues the customer can trust you will be there to help. For some savvy retailers it’s even the chance to include a few calls to action, pull the customer back into the website with some special offers, possibly on delivery.

Clear return policy

A staggering 95% will purchase again if they receive a good exchange or return experience. Unclear or an inflexible return policy is the second most occurring reason shoppers abandon their cart and can result in a loss in sales. Buying online means customers cannot physically see the item and shopping on mostly blind-faith that they’re receiving what you say they will. Add the potential damage that can occasionally occur during transit and a good return policy is a must. Having a good return policy can be a key selling point of your brand.Source: Digital Marketing Magazine

Provide easy to locate return options

There aren’t many successful bricks and mortar stores that don’t offer refunds so an online store should be no different. Make the return policy easy to find on your website, possibly next to the item on a product level. Also, be upfront if there are any additional costs and specify clearly how long they have to return items, especially if varies due to reasons for return.  

House of Fraser display their policy next to every item at a product level, in fact, the tab is easily located next to the delivery options. If that’s not enough you can also follow the link to a more detailed page.

You could even reduce the need for many returns in the first place by using high quality imagery, detailed descriptions and a possibly sizing guide, when applicable.

Delivery has always played a crucial part in driving eCommerce sales but now speed, convenience and customer experience are more important factors than ever. If you can offer customers options to meet their needs it may help you gain an edge over your competitors.

We’ve taken many steps to ensure bluCommerce is optimised to deal with the rapidly changing market surrounding delivery. According to well-known courier service DPD, blubolt’s checkout for Skatehut “stands out as best in class”, a lot of which is connected to the options and flexibility available.

  • Click & Collect: We understand customer’s cannot always wait for a home delivery so we integrate with some of the leading Click & Collect providers.
  • Named-day delivery: This feature on our checkout means customers can schedule the day their package will arrive and is flexible enough to fit into their busy lifestyles.
  • Advanced Shipping Management: bluCommerce functionality means our clients can stay on top of their deliveries and in regular contact with their customers through email automation.

If you’re looking to re-platform soon or would like to hear more about blubolt’s Checkout and the other features available on our platform, please get in contact, all of our details can be found here.

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