• Shipping costs. Spell out your shipping costs, including any thresholds that exist around free shipping. This is your opportunity to break down any potential “surprise” fees, like duties and taxes.
  • Domestic and international fulfillment. Again, if you exclusively serve a small domestic market, you’ll likely reach everywhere. But if you’re in the US, do you ship across the whole country, or just to the “lower 48”? Likewise, make it clear which other markets you ship to, and provide estimated delivery times and shipping options.
  • In-store pick-up. If you have brick-and-mortar stores as well as an e-commerce site, you might allow customers to order online and collect in-store. In that case, explain how to do it and what information the customer needs to provide.
  • Order processing times. Explain how long it’ll take from an order being placed to it being ready for shipping. Make it clear if there are any exclusions, like weekends or bank holidays, or if you have a cutoff time to qualify for things like next-day delivery. Keep this section up to date to reflect changes in your supply chain or periods of peak demand.
  • Transparency around returns, changes, and cancellations. This doesn’t need to replace your dedicated returns policy, but it should offer a summary of things like exchange periods, lost or damaged orders, and your process for evaluating returns.
  • Potential service outages. There are several reasons why orders may take longer to arrive than anticipated. While you can’t foresee every possible outcome, you should be able to offer some clarity around what sort of delays can be expected.

That’s a good start point, but it’s not the full story. As well as including all the above information, bear the following principles in mind when designing your shipping policy page(s):

  • Ensure your essential shipping details are highly visible. Don’t hide your shipping policy away in your website footer; display it at important moments, such as on product pages and during the checkout process.
  • Make your shipping policy easy to scan. Trust me: no one wants to read your entire shipping policy from start to finish. Use subheadings, tables, bullet points, bold text, and hyperlinks to make it simple for users to scroll through and pick out the information they need.

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