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Streamline Shipping in your eCommerce Design

Posted on January 9, 2012

Category: Business

We don’t feel any shame at admitting it: We love designing eCommerce sites. There’s just something about helping a client directly move products around that gets our juices flowing. After all, it is your design that’s driving sales on the Internet, in addition to the client’s products and services. Without your graphical front-end on the entire piece, there’s no traffic, and without traffic, both you and the customer starve. With that in mind, though, we do have a few practices that have helped us to create even better eCommerce designs: One of which is the act of streamlining shipping. The physical sending of an item to a customer is a vital part of the experience, and without a comprehensive presentation, you may find yourself saddled with a less-than desirable end-user experience. To avoid this, simply follow the few basic steps outlined below.

  1. Have a Policy Page: This is a simple solution, but one we find a lot of designers completely ignore, or miss entirely. Always include a shipping policies page somewhere in the project, and ensure that the customer can actually get to it without so much fuss. Also, ensure that your actual policies are spelled out clearly, and are easy to read. You want no room for interpretation here, as any available doubt will be used against you in the case of an un-arrived item. Be clear, precise, and basic whenever possible.
  2. Clearly State the Methods: On a similar note, be sure the various methods your client offers in terms of shipping are spelled out clearly, and are easy to navigate between. An easy way to accomplish this is through the use of rotating settings wheels, or drop-down menus. No matter how you do it, though, you’ll want to be darn sure your client’s customers can select their preferred method and feel secure in their choice. Again, any wiggle room can and will be used against your client should a package not arrive safely at the customer’s door.
  3. Include a Tracing Page: Lastly, keep your client’s customers informed by offering a package tracking page. This should provide up to date and minute-by-minute information about the whereabouts of the item. If your client’s customers know where their merchandise is, they’re much less likely to cause a ruckus, saving you time and money in a redesign when things don’t work out.

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