You can set the right expectations around your shipping times and costs when you prepare a shipping policy template. Commonly customers ask questions around shipping like ‘how many days will it take?’, ‘how much shipping charges do you charge?’ etc.
A well-documented shipping policy comes with a number of benefits like customers are more likely to buy from you since there won’t be any questions regarding shipping time, cost, and more.
What shipping options do you have? (international options, different carriers, etc.), how long your expected handling time is before shipping an order? Any restrictions with the shipping policy (like some items can’t ship etc.)? Typically comes under the shipping policy template for Shopify.
In this blog post, we will guide you in setting up the right shipping policy and also provide you with some examples and Free templates that you can use in your website after a little bit of editing.
What not-to-miss in a shipping policy?
Display shipping cost ‘in the right place’
Before your customer buys an item from your store, he gets a chance to review and calculate the total costs if you display the shipping cost. Cost display is even more critical considering that the international customers may not qualify for some discounts/offers like free shipping.
Keep a shipping policy page link at the footer of the website as this is a common practice but do add shipping details at the right places i.e., product pages. Do let the customer know the free shipping threshold, you can display ‘free shipping’ as an incentive.
Processing times, do mention your cutoff times
How many days will my order take to ship? This is also a common customer query that must be answered inside a shipping policy. Do mention if weekends/holidays are included or excluded, along with cutoff times for processing orders i.e., orders received after 6 pm will be processed the next business day.
Estimated delivery times
List down all of your shipping methods If you offer more than one shipping method along with expected business days for estimated delivery time.
Domestic and international shipping options
Do mention the regions under domestic and international shipping options. You can prepare two separate sections and list estimated delivery timelines and shipping options in a table so that the provided information is easy to scan.
Local shipping options
For local shipping, there are multiple options i.e. local delivery, buy online and pick up in store. It is a good practice that you explain the steps to follow for every option and communicate local delivery coverage.
Returns, change, and order cancellation
You must have a dedicated return policy page but on top of that, do summarize what is your business working on refunds, exchanges, and order cancellation and how do you compensate in case of lost/damaged item.
Order processing and delivery may take more than expected time due to variables outside of human control like COVID-19. The shipping policy page is where you can tell how much longer will the order delivery take and why.
Some state legislations prevent some product shipment to certain countries/locations. Make any restrictions clear like if you do not ship in certain countries.
When to update a shipping policy?
Change your shipping policy if you can change your business model. A simple example is, if you shift from self-fulfillment of orders to outsourcing fulfillment then it is a major shipping timeline shift that must be addressed in the shipping policy.
List of free Shopify shipping policy templates
If you haven’t generated your shipping policy yet, you do not need to worry. We have put together 3 simple shipping policy templates to help you get started. You can pick any one of them. Simply click on the link below and provide your email id. We will send the templates on your email id. You can make company-specific changes in the provided templates.
Where should I place the shipping policy on my store?
The shipping policy page is not the ONLY place for the shipping policy. Make it easier for customers to find at key points like announcement bars, product pages, etc.
Here are some ideas where you can highlight your shipping policy.
Website announcement bar
During COVID, many online store owners placed their shipping policy on the announcement bars. Mostly, disclaimers were placed about potential delays or alternative shipping options.
Also, the announcement bars are used for displaying the high-priority shipping information like price incentives as shown in the example.
Shipping questions often come to mind when a customer scrolls through your product pages.
Use display bars in order to avoid information crowd on the product page as shown in the example.
Again FAQ page is another best place for placing a shipping policy. FAQs are not only for addressing the troubleshooting problems of your customers. You can repeat your shipping policy here along with other common questions a customer might have.
When your business operation changes or something unexpected happens that results in a delay in the fulfilment of your orders, your shipping policy helps you keep your hard-earned trust.
Trust is the first and foremost entity for running a successful business and your shipping policy ensures that you and your customer are on the same page. Transparency sets the right expectations and helps customers in buying decisions.