Online stores should publish their shipping rates up front

From Nick Jenkins
Revision as of 11:40, 20 October 2009 by Nickj (Talk | contribs)

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  • This is an open letter to all stores that I use that do not publish their shipping rates up-front.
  • These are almost always North American companies (because the entire world's population lives in the US or Canada, right?)
  • I have made this a web page because I have had the same problem enough times that it's just easier to have a web link for this.
  • You are welcome to send the offending company a link to this page, or copy and paste this text, rather than having to rewrite your own letter.
  • Others who feel the same.

The Letter[edit]

Hello Online Store,

Can I please make a simple suggestion?

Please publish your shipping rates BEFORE getting people to enter their personal and credit card details.

I live in Australia / not the US / wherever, and just tried to subscribe / buy a product from you. But I had one question: how much is the shipping charge? Turns out, I had to enter all my details, including credit card details, before getting a message that told me how much it was going to cost.

I imagine you simply must be losing customers because of this. Imagine if you went to the store, put your shopping through the checkout, and asked for the total, and the checkout-chick said "No, give me your credit card first, let me swipe it, and then I'll share the final price with you". It wouldn't wash, would it? This is the same thing - you've asked for all the payment information before you've even told me how much I'm paying!

It may be that you do already publish the shipping rates. If so, please make the link to them much more obvious, because I honestly wasn't able to find them.

I wouldn't bother telling you this if I didn't like the look of your magazine / techno gizmo / DVD / whatever, and I imagine most people are the same in that they silently give up. You have just got to clearly and easily tell people what the shipping costs are up-front, otherwise you WILL lose customers. I'm speaking from personal experience when I tell you I almost always give up on online stores when I have to enter way too much information just to see how much something is going to cost me inclusive of shipping & postage & handling. And I know from friends and family that I'm definitely not alone in this.

Sorry for the rant - it just really annoys me to see someone make such a great product, and then get something simple like this wrong!

All the best,

The Results[edit]

Previously sent to Did they fix it?
PHP|Architect magazine Yes.
Fog Creek Yes.