Delivery FAQ: Do You Need a Shipping Policy Page?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer… Did you know that unexpected shipping costs are one of the top reasons for cart abandonment?

When shopping online, there are plenty of questions running through the heads of potential buyers. Interestingly, some of the most common ones are related to shipping and delivery.

What are the delivery options and rates? Do they even ship to my address? If so, when will my order arrive?

Let’s face it: For online shoppers, being able to access up-to-date delivery information before checkout is essential to “seal the deal”.

Yet, working on a shipping policy can be a tedious process for merchants, especially when done manually.

What is a shipping policy, exactly?

In the e-commerce realm, a shipping policy is a document “issued” by an online retailer that describes the delivery experience offered by the store. Typically, it includes relevant delivery information such as the available shipping options and carriers, costs, and estimated delivery times.

Depending on its complexity, the document can be shown on a separate shipping policy page, or form an important part of the website's FAQ section.

Then why should you publish a shipping policy?

As mentioned already, there are plenty of factors that come into play when shopping online. Yet, failed expectations around the delivery options — think lack of flexibility, free shipping, delivery promise — are the most likely to affect purchase decisions.

In fact, 95% of consumers go elsewhere if an online store doesn’t offer the desired delivery option. But, there’s light in the tunnel:

Shipping policy can help you reduce cart abandonment

When potential shoppers understand the delivery options and associated costs (if any) beforehand, they are less likely to abandon their carts once they proceed to checkout.

For many, knowing the delivery options — and being able to find out what these are — can make or break the whole online shopping experience, which is why most of them look for such information actively.

A shipping policy page is where you can answer frequently asked questions and clear all doubts about your delivery offer and available shipping methods once and for all.

Shipping policy page example from Zooplus
Shipping policy page example from Zooplus

A detailed shipping policy page means fewer customer inquiries

Behind every positive shopping experience, there’s proper expectations management from the start.

What are the available shipping methods? How about the shipping costs? Is there free delivery at all? Potential customers should have it clear whether they can actually shop with you.

That’s precisely why being transparent about your shipping policy from the start improves the overall shopping experience with your brand and reduces the pressure on customer support reps (both pre- and post-purchase).

If only creating a shipping policy was that simple...

It's clear to see that a detailed shipping policy is beneficial for online shoppers, and e-commerce merchants.

At the same time, however, the biggest challenge is to continuously add and update it manually — especially when scaling an online store. As a result, keeping shipping policy pages up-to-date often gets overlooked, which leads to frustrated customers, higher cart abandonment, and more support tickets.

There are ways to streamline this process, though.

Ingrid Delivery FAQ Widget mockup.
Ingrid Delivery FAQ Widget

For example, Ingrid FAQ Widget makes it easy for consumers to find up-to-date delivery information before proceeding to checkout, without a lot of hassle for online merchants.

It doesn't matter how complex the delivery setup is. Based on the information already configured in the Ingrid Merchant Platform and visible in the Delivery Checkout, the FAQ Widget shows the same delivery options and costs on a separate section of the merchant’s website.

This means no manual work and no mistakes when showing and updating general delivery information on their e-commerce websites.

If you still prefer doing it alone, keep reading to learn how to create a shipping policy.

Shipping policy page example from Hatstore

How to create a shipping policy — best practices

  • Include as many relevant delivery details as possible
  • Make your shipping policy easy to find
  • Pay attention to how you present the delivery information
  • Keep your shipping & delivery FAQ updated
  • Use a tech solution instead

Include as many relevant delivery details as possible

One thing you might notice about shipping & delivery FAQ pages is that they often seem… incredibly complex.  

Shipping policy page example from Niche Beauty Lab.
Shipping policy page example from Niche Beauty Lab

Yours doesn’t necessarily have to be long and complicated, but it should answer any important questions potential customers might have. Consider this a handy shipping policy template that includes:

→ Multiple shipping options and carrier companies (taking into account local, domestic and international shipping)

→ Shipping fees

→ Free shipping threshold (if any)

→ Estimated delivery times

→ Cut-off times for processing orders (especially during Black Week or the holiday season)

→ Shipping restrictions (if any)

💡 More often than not, shipping policies also show our approach to handling potential delays or service interruptions, missing or lost packages, as well as order returns.

No matter what you’re going to include in your shipping policy:

Make your shipping policy easy to find

As you might have gathered already, creating and maintaining shipping policies can take quite a lot of time and effort. Don’t let it all go to waste by burying your shipping policy between landing pages!

Here’s what to do instead:

Depending on how intricate and sought-after your policy is, consider either adding a separate shipping policy page, or “embedding” the policy into the FAQ section on your e-commerce website. Both solutions are meant for solving customer problems and handling objections, before and after the purchase.

Then, the key is to link to your shipping policy from wherever it makes sense for online shoppers: your website footer, shipping & delivery FAQ, customer support-oriented pages, relevant banners (e.g. featuring free shipping), product pages, or even mini cart.      

Website footer example from Nudie Jeans.
Website footer example from Nudie Jeans

💡 You can double-check how popular and user-friendly your shipping policy is with website analytics software. Have a look at page traffic and user behavior to make sure it’s easy to find and navigate.

Pay attention to how you present the delivery information

Depending on the e-commerce delivery & returns strategy and the number of countries you operate in, your shipping policy can be lengthy. The way how the information is presented ultimately affects its usability.

Keep your shipping policy as “digestible” as possible:

  • Introduce the table of contents to organize and divide shipping information (e.g. per country, delivery method, or carrier company)
  • Use self-explanatory subheadings
  • Show essential shipping details using tables
  • Keep the design simple for better readability  
Shipping policy page example from ASOS.
Shipping policy page example from ASOS

Keep your shipping policy updated

No matter how detailed and well-designed your shipping policy is, maintaining it can be challenging. Especially when expanding your e-commerce business to new markets.  

Changing shipping costs, new carrier integrations, or potential delays caused by the holiday season are just a few common factors that affect order deliveries — and shipping policies across the globe.

Whenever your e-commerce delivery strategy changes, the shipping policy should be updated too. Make sure to audit and update it accordingly, at least every few months or so.

And if that’s too much…

Use a tech solution instead

More and more merchants are understanding the necessity of a multi-carrier strategy and as they do, updating consumers about what shipping options are actually available to them becomes increasingly more complex.

There’s a solution, though. To keep the delivery information accurate and up-to-date across touchpoints, use Ingrid Delivery Platform.

Based on the configuration of your delivery checkout, Ingrid FAQ Widget will show the available delivery options and costs on a dedicated shipping policy page, or an FAQ site.

Ingrid FAQ Widget embedded in Hatstore's shipping policy pages.
Ingrid FAQ Widget embedded in Hatstore's shipping policy pages

This means:

  • Less manual work and fewer errors when showing delivery information — there’s no need to invest time and effort into entering and updating the delivery information anymore (including the available options, shipping costs, and estimated delivery times).
  • Fewer delivery-related inquiries coming from customers — every consumer can easily find and access delivery information to check if they work for them.

The FAQ Widget is available for all Ingrid merchants and it is easy to implement. Book a demo if you’re up for minimizing time and effort needed to update the delivery information, increasing conversion, and reducing the number of support tickets.

Improve your delivery experience

You’re one step away from scaling your business. Book a demo to find out more.