Paazl Blog

Turn more website visitors into customers with last-mile delivery in your checkout

The importance of getting the last-mile delivery element of your checkout right is more important than ever.

Last-mile delivery costs constitute the majority (53%) of the total cost of shipping. Any efficiency gains made here can deliver substantial overall benefits. However, optimizing your checkout for last-mile delivery is easier said than done.

The final leg of the delivery process is fraught with challenges. Carriers, for example, will have to process multiple stops, packages of various sizes (and fragility), and at huge scale. What’s more, the number of deliveries on the road is only likely to increase. According to one prediction, by 2040, 95% of all retail purchases will be made online and traditional retail may be hardly existent. How will logistics providers and delivery companies manage this increase? And how will retailers deal with this heightened competition?

Although much of the focus regarding last-mile delivery is around the delivery itself, companies should be careful not to neglect the checkout process. Checkout conversion and the last-mile are intrinsically linked. If companies can improve their last-mile, they can also turn more leads into sales. 

How optimizing your checkout for last-mile delivery can improve your conversion rate

Friction within the sales process is a sure-fire way to lose sales. This is the case even once website visitors have an item in their shopping basket. The average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate stands at just under 70% – and it doesn’t take much for a shopper to leave your site and start dealing with a competitor.

Reducing friction within the shopping journey, therefore, is essential – and this includes the delivery process. Having to fill out long forms and provide lots of additional information once an item has been added to the basket could lead to lost sales. Try to streamline the process as much as possible for your customers. Don’t ask your customers for unnecessary data before the sale has gone through and make sure that speed is of the essence.

As far as the consumer is concerned, an unclear & complicated checkout process is one of the key reasons why shopping carts are abandoned. List your last-mail delivery options clearly and concisely. Be sure to communicate things like delivery time or date-range, sustainable delivery options, and price, to get those sales over the line.

Of course, optimizing your last-mile is not only about clarity – it’s also about cost. According to recent research, 90% of consumers would shop online more often if they were given the option of free shipping. Retailers will have to decide whether to pass on the cost of delivery to their consumers – or absorb it. Shoppers are now able to receive free shipping from a host of online outlets. Competition to drive down the last-mile cost is fierce.

“An unclear and complicated checkout process is one of the key reasons why shopping carts are abandoned”

Checkout Communication is key

If you’ve done the hard work of getting a customer to visit your site and place an item in their shopping bag, now don’t let poor communication be the reason the sale falls through. The specifics of your particular last-mile process may not be well-known to your consumer, so be sure to explain it (without adding unnecessary steps to their sales journey, of course). Here are four things to consider:

1. Flexibility

Consumers want choice in terms of how their packages are delivered. Ensure that your last-mile process offers flexibility – including when packages are delivered, different pricing options, click-and-collect or pickup point alternatives. 

In addition, make sure that the flexibility offered in your last-mile is clear to the consumer throughout all stages of the sales process. Including a clear, quick delivery menu could deliver the flexibility that your customers are looking for from your last-mile process. In the example below, showing all delivery options from the moment the customer entered their shopping cart produced a 17% increase in transactions!

Image and data courtesy of ISM eCompany

“Make 2022 the year you turn more website visitors into customers”

2. Trust

If your shoppers have any concerns that their deliveries will arrive when expected they are unlikely to complete their order. Try to reinforce this sense of trust by using clear communication not only during the checkout process, but throughout your website. Offering a payment process that is robust and secure also helps.

Clearly signpost things like track-and-trace, so that customers can gain extra visibility into your last-mile. What’s more, including a visible returns policy at the checkout stage can be hugely reassuring to customers. This allows them to trust your brand should anything go wrong during the last-mile process. 

3. Be upfront

If shoppers only find out about shipping costs or timeframes in the final stages of the checkout process, it’s highly likely that they will abandon their cart. In fact, 22% of shoppers cited the fact that a retailer did not clearly mention shipping costs as a reason why their cart was abandoned.

Deliveries can be costly – and take time. Customers understand this but don’t try to trick them into agreeing to a sale if your last-mile isn’t working as efficiently as it should. Even if you only offer ‘standard’ 1-3 day delivery, communicate that clearly from the start. Nasty surprises will see your conversion rate plummet. 

4. Be detailed

Too much information around your last-mile can certainly add friction to the sales process, so don’t bombard your customers as they are about to click “buy.”

That being said, it’s not a bad idea to have a dedicated page explaining your last-mile. For example, many consumers are looking for sustainable shipping. If you use local fulfillment centers or electric vehicles as part of your last-mile, then be sure to let your shoppers know as it could make a difference to your conversion rate.

Last-mile delivery in a post-Covid world

The Covid-19 pandemic brought added pressure on last-mile deliveries for many businesses. Consumers wanted more packages – faster and cheaper. Digital solutions helped businesses cope with this challenge to an extent but the pressure is unlikely to let up anytime soon. 

As such, companies cannot afford to let sales slip through their fingers by offering a poor or expensive delivery service. Or because the checkout process is inflexible or badly communicated. Improving the last-mile and optimizing the checkout experience go hand in hand. Be clear, concise, and accommodating when your customers arrive at the payment stage and they are less likely to look elsewhere. 

At Paazl we cover all the core aspects of a first-rate last-mile journey, always starting with an exceptional checkout.

Don’t accept your cart abandonment rate. Let 2022 be the year you turn more website visitors into customers. 

Paazl is a leading shipping service provider (SSP) for brands & retailers in e-commerce. Its all-in-one, multi-carrier platform unburdens the delivery process across webshop, warehouse, customer service and returns. Paazl enables logistical flexibility, consumer loyalty, cost transparency and (inter)national growth. Customers include industry leaders such as G-Star Raw, Rituals, VanMoof, Tag Heuer, Leenbakker and Under Armour.