How To Create a Shipping Policy That Converts Visitors & Retains Clients

How To Create a Shipping Policy That Converts Visitors & Retains Clients

Shipping is one of the most essential stages in the ecommerce lifecycle and has a huge impact on user experience. 

It can definitely make or break your business! 

Therefore, a well-researched and comprehensive shipping policy is essential for your online store to thrive. 

The more transparent it is, the happier your customers and the higher your conversion rate will be.

Of course, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” shipping policy for every business, but we can tell you that a common thread between the best shipping policies is that they ensure the customers won’t encounter any surprises along the way.

The following guide will help you understand the basics of a good shipping policy so you can effectively apply this to your ecommerce store.

Let’s get started!

What is a shipping policy?

A shipping policy is a crucial component of the operation of any online store.

It serves as a set of guidelines and rules that outline how orders are processed, packaged, and delivered to customers.

Essentially, it provides transparency and clarity regarding the shipping process, ensuring a positive experience for both the seller and the buyer.

What does a shipping policy include?

A shipping policy typically covers the following seven key aspects.

1. Shipping methods

This section specifies the different shipping methods available to customers, such as standard shipping, express shipping, or international shipping.

It may also include details about any expedited shipping options and associated costs.

2. Shipping costs

Here, the shopping policy outlines the fees or charges associated with each shipping method.

This could be based on factors like order value, weight, destination, or a flat rate for all orders.

3. Shipping timelines

Customers want to know when they can expect to receive their orders.

The shipping policy should include estimated delivery times for each shipping method, accounting for processing time, transit time, and any potential delays.

4. Order processing

This section explains how orders are processed once they’re placed. It may cover order confirmation, fulfillment procedures, and handling times before shipment.

5. Shipping restrictions

Certain products may be subject to shipping restrictions or regulations due to their nature, size, weight, or destination.

The shipping policy should clearly communicate any limitations or prohibited items.

6. Shipping destinations

Sellers may choose to ship domestically, internationally, or both.

The shipping policy should specify which regions or countries orders can be shipped to and any additional requirements or charges for international shipments.

7. Tracking and notifications

Providing order tracking information and status updates is essential for keeping customers informed about the progress of their shipments.

The policy may detail how tracking information is provided and how customers can access it.

Why is it important to have a shipping policy?

Having a clear and comprehensive shipping policy offers several benefits for both businesses and customers.

Here are the main benefits:

  • Transparency: It helps build trust and confidence among customers by providing clear expectations regarding shipping costs, delivery times, and order processing procedures.
  • Reduced disputes: By outlining the terms and conditions of shipping upfront, businesses can minimize misunderstandings and disputes related to shipping issues.
  • Improved customer experience: A well-defined shipping policy contributes to a positive shopping experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.
  • Legal compliance: Depending on the jurisdiction, certain shipping regulations and consumer protection laws may require businesses to disclose specific shipping terms and conditions. A shipping policy helps ensure compliance with relevant legal requirements.
  • Operational efficiency: By establishing standardized shipping procedures, businesses can streamline their operations and reduce errors or delays in the shipping process.

5 tips to create a good shipping policy

Now that you understand the significance of a shipping policy, it’s time to discuss some tips on how to create a good shipping policy that converts visitors and retains clients.

1. Set up a dynamic shipping policy

Sellers usually give their customers the option of standard or express delivery. 

While this is very common, we actually advise to do away with static shipping rates, as they are unclear, don’t provide any information on additional taxes and duties, and provide no information on the courier.

dynamic shipping policy

A dynamic shipping policy is a better way to go. 

This method displays real-time shipping rates to your customers based on their shipping address, and includes other shipping costs such as import taxes, duties, and extra handling fees upfront. 

As the seller is now aware of all charges, this helps in reducing cart abandonment.

dynamic shipping policy

2. Provide good tracking

Having an efficient tracking policy will not only keep your customer updated on where their parcel is, but will also reduce the amount of time it takes for you to respond to requests from customers about the status of their shipment.

In the olden days, you’d have to manually copy and paste tracking numbers and email it to your customers, but lucky for you, this process is even more efficient today! 

There are many apps available (like Easyship) that can automatically share tracking numbers with your customers, and we highly recommend implementing this automation for your online business.

With the way AI has been incorporated into businesses, using AI tools for fleet management is another way to succeed. Not only to streamline tracking processes, but also provide excellent route-planning solutions, enhancing the overall efficiency of your shipping operations.

You may also benefit from choosing a shipping method that provides excellent route-planning solutions and tracking services. This means it will cover all the steps of transit, from pickup, to arrival/departure at customs, to delivery at the final destination, allowing you and your customer to closely monitor the status of the shipment.


3. Create a returns policy

When creating a returns policy, be sure to communicate the conditions under which returns are acceptable on your website. In addition to a packing slip, also include a notice of return so your customers are aware of your policy when they open their package.

Do keep in mind that processing returns for cross-border shipments can be a bit tricky, extra taxes and fees may apply, particularly if you use express couriers. 

One way to minimize the amount of returns you have on international shipments is to deliver shipments with duties pre-paid (Delivery Duty Paid, or DDP.) 

As the duties payment is already taken care of, this reduces the chances that your customer will abandon or refuse the shipment simply because they didn’t want to pay the duties once the shipment arrives at their country’s port of entry.

4. Research taxes before starting international shipping

As they say, nothing is certain but death and taxes, so it’s best to pay attention! Every country handles taxes and duties differently, and it’s worth researching the policy for each country you’d like to ship to so you’ll know what to expect. 

Easyship’s Countries page lists all the important tax and duty information you need to know about your destination country of choice.

If the thought of having to figure out tax rates for your shipment is making you break out into a cold sweat, the good news is that there’s an app for this! 

Easyship’s platform automatically calculates and guarantees tax & duty for you based on your shipping destination, item category, and customs value. 

This information can also be displayed on your store checkout if you use our plugin.

5. Insure your packages

If damaged orders, loss, or theft of your product at the hands of a courier makes you nervous, you can consider insuring your packages.

Most worldwide express couriers cover both domestic and international shipments with a declared value of up to $100, so if the value of your shipment is less than this, purchasing insurance is most likely not needed.

 If the declared value of your shipment is above $100, you can opt to purchase insurance which is usually around 3% of your declared value. It’s a pretty nominal fee for peace of mind!

Where to communicate your shipping policy?

Where should you tell customers about how stuff gets to them?

Easy. Put it where they’ll see it.

For example, on your website, right where they shop. Create a dedicated page specifically for your shipping policy and prominently link to it in the website’s navigation menu or footer.

Stick it in your checkout process, so they can’t miss it. This can be done by displaying estimated shipping times and costs before customers finalize their orders.

If you frequently receive questions about shipping-related issues, consider adding a section to your website’s FAQ page dedicated to the shipping policy FAQ. Anticipate common questions and provide clear answers to address any concerns customers may have.

And don’t forget emails. After they buy, remind them what they agreed to.

Basically, anywhere your customers hang out, that’s where you want your shipping policy to be. Keep it in their faces, so they know what’s up.


Shipping policies do much more than efficiently getting your product to your customer. It is your opportunity to make a good impression on your customer, gain their trust, and encourage them to shop with you again. 

We hope that our suggestions will help you take the first steps in streamlining and automating your shipping process so you can focus on the more important aspects of your business!

Michelle Mondonedo

Michelle Mondonedo

Michelle Mondonedo is a content marketer for Easyship, a platform that makes shipping worldwide easier for e-commerce sellers of any size. For more practical advice on how to tackle shipping for small businesses, check out Easyship’s free guide, Ship Like A Boss!