The Amazon Octocopter is one of the new innovations in delivery currently being tested.

The Amazon Octocopter is one of the new innovations in delivery currently being tested.

Nothing builds customers’ trust at the eCheckout faster than the promise of speedy delivery of our newly purchased goodies. When we pay for an item, we expect it to be transported cross country at the speed of light, carefully handled in a fancy jet by people in white gloves, then hand delivered by the local and trusted courier, direct to our homes or offices.

So why do we still refer to this process as ‘shipping’?

In the fast-paced world of eCommerce where consumers expect almost instant gratification, are retailers damaging their brand by clinging to outdated words like ‘shipping’ to describe their delivery service?

In Australia, research I’ve conducted in the eCommerce sector has shown consumers respond negatively to the word ‘shipping’. They associate the word with transporting of goods to remote locations, and long waits of three to four weeks while their purchase makes its way slowly ‘down under’ from the warehouses of eCommerce giants based in China, Europe and the United States.

We live in an age where Amazon is soon to be delivering by drone, yet still we call it ‘shipping’. Why not stand up and say it like it is? If ‘shipping’ means overnight air freight straight to your door, 3 hour drop off by a Want It Now concierge or delivery by octocopter, why not sell that dream to the customer right from the start of the transaction?

While the word shipping may be negatively associated in some regions, it may not be the case everywhere, so let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Savvy web designers and analysts split test everything, but it’s easy to overlook something as small as a simple word.

Always use A/B testing to see what sales copy resonates best with your audience.

The solution? A/B testing on a retail site of the ‘delivery method’ copy could allow the retailer to monitor the conversion rate and determine which term has the best response per area. Larger eCommerce operators could liaise with localised semantics specialists to ensure their website copy is relevant to each market or country that sells into. This would ensure customers are well aware their product can be delivered to their doorstep in a matter of days, without any misinterpretation.