Wildcard Friday – Shipping Calculator Optimization



The placement of the shipping calculator is extremely important in the buying process for shoppers. It can exist throughout the tail end of the shopping experience, on the product pages, the add to cart pages as well as the shipping and billing page. Through testing and data analysis I found that when removed or hidden within the add-to-cart and product pages, there is a significant impact to conversion rates.

This past year, we analyzed the removal of the shipping calculator from the product and add-to-cart pages. The only place a visitor could find the shipping calculator was on the shipping & billing page. Compared against the time period where the shipping calculator was visible on the product and cart pages, we saw a dramatic drop in conversion rates of 20%. In this scenario, hiding the total cost from shoppers until the final shipping and billing page did not positively affect their bottom line, but rather hurt their overall conversion rates.

Results are bound to vary when testing this on other sites. With another client, we tested removing the shipping calculator from the product page only. We found that when the shipping calculator was hidden on the product page, there was a 17% increase in Add to Cart clicks, but the conversion rate did not change.

Seeing the shipping cost on the product page scared browsers away from adding the product to the cart, but did not scare away buyers. We recommend making sure your shipping calculator is part of the shopping process on the shopping cart page, ensuring high visibility above the Continue button. Adding the calculator to the product page will not make sense in all cases depending on the type of products your store sells, but can be useful in certain cases. In this scenario, removing the shipping calculator did not adversely affect the overall conversion rate of the site, but it did make for a messy increase in cart abandonment.

We recommend making the shipping calculator easy to use and accurate as possible. Typically we find the best shipping calculators only use a zip code and estimate an accurate arrival time for the customer. Try not to confuse the customer with processing time and shipping time language, simply let them know when they can expect to receive their product. When introducing processing time language we found a 10% decrease in orders.

In the end, testing always helps us remind ourselves that no one scenario will play out the same as the next. An idea or a hypothesis is only as good as the test results show. This is why we offer a robust, full service testing option for our clients called Conversion Booster. With conversion booster, we can easy test concepts like shipping calculator location against the control to identify which version is statistically the winner. It’s a science that meets art and creates dramatic increases to our clients’ conversion rates. Give us a call if you’re interested in learning more. We would be happy to perform free conversion opportunity audits for qualified websites.

Have a great weekend!