Shipping Options In Paid-Search Ads May Drive Better Sales, Brand Image, Loyalty

Following Amazon Prime's lead could prove fruitful for retailers. Advertising and offering diverse shipping options in paid-search ads across Google, Bing and Yahoo could help retailers avoid cart abandonment, reduce the negative impact of brand image, and increase customer loyalty.

Findings from a global study commissioned by Temando and conducted by Research Now suggests consumers want from retailers more of the shipping services that Amazon Prime gives today. Consumer expectations reveal that 61% want hyperlocal one- to-three-hour shipping windows, and 80% want one-day shipping options -- but only 20% and 52% of retailers, respectively, offer the service.

Research Now surveyed 4,000 consumers and 800 retailers in Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States across the areas of health and personal care, clothing, food, electronics, furniture, sporting goods, and books.



Twenty-nine percent of retailers surveyed generated between 11% and 20% of their total revenue through online sales in 2015, according to the survey.

Like marketing, shipping is all about relevancy, per Carl Hartmann, CEO of Temando. "As a retailer, if you can deliver highly targeted search ads accompanied by a spectrum of relevant shipping options, then you will increase the likelihood of decreasing the shipping barriers in the shopping cart," he says.

For example, if you know your business and carrier services are capable of delivering within three hours in the Bay Area, then including three hour shipping as an option in the ads and targeting them to the Bay Area location would increase the relevancy of the offer to customers. Importantly, if the brand delivers on this promise, then it increase the likelihood of extracting more lifetime value from that customer over time.

The study suggests that an increase in shipping options could increase the amount consumers spend online. In fact, 86% of the retailers surveyed say that by offering more shipping options they see an increase in sales.

Women spend more than men. Some 60% of women and 49% of men spend between $25 and $100 monthly; 36% and 45% spend between $101 and $500 per month; and both genders spend 3% between $501 and $1,000 per month, respectively.

The lack of shipping options represents the biggest reason that consumers abandon online carts. In fact, 75% see a reduction in cart abandonment rates, 86% of retailers find it easier to meet customer expectations, and 84% say it's easier to meet shipping deadlines.

Consumers want to track packages, as 95% want visibility into shipping dates but only 78% of retailers offer the option. Some 93% want email communication, but only 72% have the option. The biggest gap between consumers' wants and retailer's abilities point to making changes to shipments while in transit. Some 74% want the ability to make changes and only 36% of retailers offer the service.

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