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Meaningful delivery selection


To follow on from my post about meaningful payment selection- I have written an article about improving your delivery methods.

The new checkout is designed to reduce friction and remove anything that may confuse your customers, even if only momentarily. For the most part we’ve made sure that the checkout does this without you, the shop owner, having to do anything. Sometimes though a little bit of extra work will make everything even more simple and silky smooth.

In this post we’ll address your delivery methods and how you can improve them to be more meaningful for your customers.


The New Checkout Delivery Section

If you haven’t already seen how your delivery section looks in the new checkout, below is a quick preview of how it looks on my shop, ‘Doug’s Pugs’.



meaninful delivery




These are the only two delivery methods available for the weight of the order at ‘Doug’s Pugs’. As you can see the names I have used for my delivery methods are not very good, in fact they are pretty much meaningless to customers unless they have used ‘Parcel Force’ before. So let’s fix this.


What we have to work with

Not too long ago we revamped the entire delivery management section of your ekmPowershop giving you much more control over cost, delivery zones and restrictions.



meaningful delivery 2

 The screen to create a new delivery method


We have control over a few checkout facing elements here but let’s focus on the ‘Display Name’ and ‘Description’ – these are the bits of information your customers will see on their checkout flow and the areas that can be improved on most shops.


Display Name
As the name suggests the display name is a customer facing name for this payment gateway. In short- the reason we have two fields for delivery name is because what you may want to see on your order form and what the customer sees could (and should) be very different.

I may offer next day delivery on all orders but need heavier orders to be shipped using a different courier than lighter orders. My customer doesn’t need to know this though, all they care about is whether it will arrive the next day or not. So your ‘Display Name’ needs to be both meaningful and easy to understand.


Although this has existed for a while it hasn’t previously output anywhere on your checkout or cart.

The field is designed to offer your customer a little bit of extra information about the delivery method.


What makes a good display name?

It’s quite simple to make your display names meaningful, you simply have to remember that the customer using your site probably doesn’t know an awful lot about couriers.

So as an example on my shop I offer next day delivery. Now for my heavy parcels I use ‘Hermes’ and for everything else I use ‘Parcel Force’. Both have a next day delivery service for most of the UK.

If the order is heavy I shouldn’t be using a display name like “Hermes Premium 24 Hour/Next Day Delivery Service” because it means absolutely nothing to my customer. Why do my customers care about the courier I’m using or whether it’s a premium service? In short they don’t.

So if the order is a light one I use ‘Parcel Force Express24’ as my courier service of choice. Again this is a terrible name to show the customer because it means very little.

The only person who cares about the service you use to send the parcel is you. The customer only cares about when it will arrive, how much it costs and whether they need to be around to sign for it.

This is a very easy one to fix. For heavy parcels the display name will be ‘Next Day Delivery’ and for my light packages my display name will be ‘Next Day Delivery’. They both do the same job for the customer and I can use the ‘Name’ field for a better reference like ‘Hermes Premium 24 Hour/Next Day Delivery Service’ to remind me which service to order.



meaningful delivery 3


Remember though this only works if your delivery method sare setup correctly. If they are not and you display the delivery service for both heavy and light orders you’ll end up showing the same display name twice, which just causes confusion.


What makes a good description?

This field isn’t designed to take in paragraphs and paragraphs of information- it’s designed to offer the customer a little bit more information about the delivery method.

Using the ‘Hermes’ and ‘Parcel Force’ examples from before we may have two very different descriptions for each of these gateways. The reason for this is because ‘Parcel Force’ doesn’t always require a signature and ‘Hermes’ does. I obviously need my customers to know that they need to be in to take delivery and the description field is the perfect place for that.

So for ‘Hermes’ I’d use the description…
“Delivery before 6pm the next day and will require a signature”

For ‘Parcel Force’ my description would be slightly different…
“Delivery between 8am-3pm the next day”

This means my customers can make decisions on whether to select ‘Next Day Delivery’ or one of my other delivery methods.


Optimising your own delivery methods

As the new checkout gets turned on for your shop you should spend some time going through your delivery methods and making sure the names make sense. You could even ask friends or family what the delivery name and description means to them to gauge how well it’s worded.

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