Twice now, at the request of customers we've implemented a shipping calculator on Black Cat, but both times conversions seem to have taken a hit. This last time by 0.2%. Not huge, but it adds up.

It makes sense that a customer who has completed all the information associated with placing an order would be less likely to continue shopping around, especially if shipping is reasonable, but on the flip side, a few people must drop off just seeing the form...

I'm looking for best practices on shipping calculators. Our current implementation (which may be switched off for a bit to test the conversion question) is a simple text link at the bottom of the cart. This pops a small form asking for the destination zip code which outputs three shipping options, including discounts based on dollar value of the order (we're doing $5 and $20 off shipping for orders over $100 and $200 respectively). So far the conversion hit has been much smaller than the last implementation, but still it's a hit.

I wonder though if the real issue isn't with on-site conversion, but with order recovery. When a customer completes the shipping and billing form we capture the information. If they do not complete the order they initiated, we call and make sure there wasn't a problem, if possible closing the sale. With the shipping calculator we get fewer incomletes to call...

Any thoughts?