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Creating the Ideal Shipping Policy for Your Business (with Template)

As the owner of an eCommerce site, you want to ensure your clients know about your shipping policy in concrete terms. The details provided by such a policy will help your customers calculate their shipping costs, keep track of delivery times, and maintain accurate records concerning their expectations for your services. In other words, an accurate shipping policy improves your relationship with your customers and their trust in your company.

No matter how detailed the shipping policy, eCommerce sites should outline it in accurate terms. This includes not only shipping information for clients’ orders but also return policies and anything else customers might want to know. The webpage or document that compiles this information should be a resource for your clients to get a feel for how much they’re paying and for what.

How Shipping Policies Improve Your Site

By answering your customer’s shipping questions in a concise document, you can keep your customers informed. Expediting their purchasing process makes you seem more professional and solves issues related to shipping clients’ orders before they become issues.

Information is Key

The first reason to add a shipping policy to an eCommerce site is to keep your clients informed. Before customers order from you, a concise and accurate shipping policy can help them calculate their order and purchase the services they need. You probably offer multiple shipping methods and keep specific rules in terms of how your items ship. Informing clients about these rules keeps your relationship with them as smooth as possible.

Information leads customers to your site and encourages them to purchase your services. If you can tell them upfront that you offer Standard, airmail, FedEx, dropshipping, store delivery, and other shipping methods, they might be convinced to use your services without shopping around. Conversely, if your customers have to dig for shipping methods and the relevant pricing information, they might seek out a site that has clearer policies.

Not only should your shipping policy page include information about shipping methods and costs but breaking down your delivery times can help your customers set realistic expectations. Your business likely has unique cutoff times, holiday deadlines, and other transit information related to special or international orders. Inform your clients upfront so there’s no confusion down the line.

Protect Yourself

Protection may not sound like the primary purpose of a shipping policy, but certain details can cover your site’s options when something goes wrong. By providing information to customers about your policies when it comes to damaged items, returns, exchanges, and other delivery and replacement options, you can be candid with your customers and protect yourself in the process.

Not all transactions go smoothly and sometimes customers complain. Since complaints hurt businesses, particularly in the age of Google Business reviews, your eCommerce site needs to have a clear, refined document that can be used to defend yourself. Customers can see your policies outright, so they have less reason to complain. If they do complain, or even open a legal case seeking reimbursement, an accurate shipping policy displayed prominently on your site will be your most powerful weapon in resolving that situation and maintaining your company’s reputation.

At the same time that this information protects your business, it also builds consumer trust. Your clients can see outright what your policies are and whether they have a leg to stand on when it comes to refunds. With a shipping policy, there’s less confusion in your relationship with your customers and more trust when it comes to the fulfillment of your services.

Information Your Shipping Policy Should Include

Shipping policies highlight what clients can expect when they order through your eCommerce site. It’s essential to keep the details of the policy concise and accurate, as well as separated into categories of interest for customers that still haven’t decided which company to use yet. An accurate, appealing policy can not only increase the trust of your current consumers but build relationships with new ones as well.

Shipping Methods

Certainly, this information should be most prominent on an eCommerce site’s shipping policy. Knowing the shipping methods – complete with delivery times – will give customers the information they need to decide if they’ll use your services.

To keep the policy concise, list the methods and delivery times together, preferably in a spreadsheet, table, or other readable graphic.

Costs and Restrictions

Prominently display shipping costs in a shipping policy. This gives potential clients the ability to budget for your services, compare to other sites, and review your offers. Restrictions may apply to them, such as if they need to ship internationally, so list these as clearly as possible.

Transparency is key when attracting potential clients and communicating your services. To avoid disputes later resulting from clients not knowing beforehand the restrictions that apply to them, list this information clearly and prominently.

Damages and Returns

Packages can become damaged, missing, or need to be returned even with the most airtight shipping policy. Even returns and damages out of your control need contingencies that your customers can rely on. Listing what happens to damaged items in your shipping policy creates an atmosphere of transparency that your clients can lean on when things go wrong.

Returns are one of the most important features you can list for your clients on your shipping policy. Including this info on the same page can help customers track their refunds and process returns easily.

The Takeaway

For a new or established eCommerce site, a shipping policy prominently outlined on the site can attract customers as well as improve your company’s relationship with customers you already have. A shipping policy lists any information about your e-commerce fulfillment that’s relevant to potential customers, including shipping details, costs, methods, restrictions, and return policies.

This information keeps customer expectations realistic when requesting your site’s services, allows them to track their orders and refunds, and also builds their trust. A clear, accurate shipping policy converts an eCommerce site’s entire business model into a readable version for prospective clients. This clear information is the first thing new clients look for before they choose to engage a site’s eCommerce services or take their business elsewhere.

Get The Shipping Policy Template