Being a Brisbane web designer, I’m not happy with the checkout process for ThinkGeek and think for such a large company they could greatly improve on it. I’m also very disappointed with their limited and expensive international shipping rates and options.

The ideas are aimed to help speed up the customer checkout process, and they might increase the conversion rate.

Shipping Page – trying to figure out international shipping prices

Originally I clicked the “GO TO CHECKOUT” link, then selected my country, and looked for a price and there wasn’t one. On the “warp speed checkout” page I found an “international shipping” information link, which didn’t really give me any useful information. I then went back to the cart page and realised that the shipping calculator was a separate module. Please see the mock-up below (click to enlarge) for a more cohesive cart page which gives the customer a final price BEFORE they have to fill in any details. I think it’s very important to be black and white with your customers, I hate having to fill in my details before I know how much I’m spending.

Think Geek Cart Page Mock-up

I also have changed the “you may also like” products to be included within the checkout process with an “Add to cart” button which should ajax into your cart (and update the price instantly). Also, I’ve removed the ‘update cart’ button, as I think you guys have an awesome enough website to warrant investing some time making everything update automatically with ajax. One improvement would be to remove the “Awesome suggested” links and leave this below the checkout buttons, because currently it looks a little cluttered.

I’ve got some idea’s about your “Warp Speed” checkout page as well which would not only make it faster, but less intimidating (eg why show shipping address AND billing address if most of the time you would only fill in the billing address details? I understand the capabilities need to be there, but this doesn’t need to be so prominent).

International Shipping

I pretty disappointed with the shipping rates to Australia. I actually did a blog post recently which got quite a bit of press about why Amazon’s international shipping functionality is horrible, and how US companies are still putting international customers second. Amazon’s Usability Problems

I wanted to buy some Giant edible toasted leaf cutter ants, which is $19.99, and the ‘cheap’ shipping from DHL was $22! More than the item itself. I’m SURE these prices can be beaten because I buy from the US through ebay and other sites all the time. If DHL and UPS cannot physically beat these prices, I would suggest offering a third alternative that does not offer order tracking. In all my years of online shopping I have always opted for the cheapest shipping possible, particularly from the US because their prices seem so inflated. I’ve come to you site probably 5 or 6 times in the last year to see if your international shipping prices has been updated, and I’m always disappointed.

Alternatively, why not find a local distributor in Australia? There are tonnes of places that would sell your kind of stuff.

I know many people who are in the same situation I am, where they want to buy from your website but it always comes down to either “their shipping is too expensive”, or “thank god their shipping is expensive or I’d be broke”. Which is a feature, not a bug :) .

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