Though most shoppers still purchase products in brick and mortar stores, online shopping continues to grow by leaps and bounds. The ease and convenience of pointing and clicking for the things we want – of which there is seemingly an infinite supply on the net – is unmatched by any “real life” shopping experience. The deals aren’t bad, either.
But one of the more annoying aspects of shopping online is having to pay for delivery. For many people, paying for delivery costs is a deal breaker, one that prevents them from fully converting to online commerce.
No one enjoys paying money to wait a week or more for the purchased products to arrive at their destination. Someone who goes into a store can instantly grab the product, pay, and walk out the door. If the customer wants his or her items quicker, like overnight, be prepared to pay an arm and a leg. Pointing and clicking online is fun, but no one enjoys paying for the privilege to wait for the items to arrive.
No one likes to pay extra money on top of the product’s cost, for that matter. Sometimes the total cost can be cheaper than buying the product in real stores if the buyer gets a great discount, but often the shipping represents a significant extra expense. This is especially true if the product is large, heavy, or originating from a distant place.
Worst of all, sometimes customers pay for shipping, only to receive damaged or missing goods at the other end. Whether this is the fault of the sender or the delivery service is unimportant. Worse still if the items never even arrive at their destination. If someone steals the package from a doorstep, it’s often difficult to prove otherwise. There’s nothing worse than paying for shipping and having that service fall through.
The final problem with paying for delivery is dealing with returns. If the product turns out to be defective, or if the customer simply doesn’t like it, he or she often has to pay return shipping fees out of pocket. This is in contrast to a normal store – if the product isn’t right, simply return it, free of charge. With online shipping, however, not only does the customer need to pay the delivery cost, he or she needs to pay the return costs as well! Double dipping on shipping can sour a customer’s experience.