I've been reminded of yet another pet peeve of mine -- sites that aren't up front about shipping costs.
Why should a shopper have to proceed through the checkout flow to find out how much shipping costs are on a site?
And from a retailer point of view, the forced partial checkout to view shipping costs would count as an "abandoned shopping cart" in their analytics reports.
I was on a website that sold batteries the other day and it wanted me to fill in my shipping, billing, and payment information before it would tell me what the shipping costs would be. I chose not to go through the process for 3 reasons - privacy, security, and all the extra typing when I wasn't sure I wanted to register or buy from this site yet.
Here are two examples where the site helps a shopper understand the shipping costs early in the browse/buy cycle.
The first example is from L.L.Bean where an estimated shipping charge is shown as the item is added to the Shopping Bag.
The second example is from TigerDirect.ca where a shopper can enter their Postal Code to get an estimate of shipping costs while viewing the Shopping Cart.
Frustrated Shopper Suggestion - Have a static "Shipping Costs" page that outlines where the store will ship to, what shipping modes are offered, and what the general shipping charges are. Also, have the ability to enter a Postal Code / Zip Code when viewing the Shopping Cart to see what the estimated Shipping Cost will be.
That's all for now. Gotta go shopping!