The word free has a fantastic effect on consumers. As consumers ourselves, we understand the power of getting things or shipping for free. Study after study has shown the amazing effect of offering free shipping to an e-commerce store’s profits. Ninety percent of customers said that free shipping is the top incentive that encourages them to purchase something from an online store. The same percentage abandon their carts because of the high cost of shipping, and more than 93% of consumers are willing to add items to their carts if they qualify for free shipping.
Consumers don’t necessarily have the means to pay for courier services. As the business owner, it is up to you to figure out how you can keep your prices competitive and make your business profitable while offering free shipping to your customers.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to free shipping. When a formula works for one business, that does not mean it will also work for another. And yet, it pays to study your options about offering free shipping to consumers. Your customers will not likely change their minds about how much they want to be eligible for free shipping.
It is only possible to offer free shipping on everything when your products are expensive. Also, they have to be small and light. Luxury items such as expensive shoes, bags, jewelry, and watches have no shipping cost. This is because their prices, which are usually in the hundred-dollar range, can cover the cost of shipment. But when you have cheaper products in your store, you cannot offer to ship them for free.
With Minimum Thresholds
This is a more realistic way to offer free shipping. You can set a minimum amount that they have to purchase to be eligible for free shipping. This way, you will encourage large orders that will cover the actual cost of shipping the items.
Within Geographical Limits
You can also offer free shipping within a set geographical location. If your warehouse or store is located in New York, for example, you can provide free shipping to those living in the same state. You can even extend the offer to neighboring states. If you have another branch in another city, you can offer to ship the items for free to that branch, too. It will save you on costs because you’ll ship the purchase along with the other items or supplies you need to send to that store.
During Certain Times of the Year
You should consider offering free shipping options during specific periods of the year. Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas season is an excellent time to test your market’s purchase behavior. With tougher competitions during these days of the year, you should be more aggressive when it comes to offering discounts, free shipping coupons, and more.
When a Customer Is a Member
Do you have a membership program in your e-commerce store? If so, you can use that to offer free shipping only to certain members who have reached the minimum amount spent in a period. You can offer vouchers that they can use every time they hit a particular milestone. You can also create a point-based system wherein customers will collect as many points as they can in a given period to qualify for free shipping and other offers.
Under this offer, the shipping isn’t really free, but it will be lower than what your customers expect. It will encourage them to buy more because the shipping fee won’t increase regardless of the volume and weight of their total orders. The problem with this is it discourages small orders or those who want to order a small item. Since the shipping fee is the average of small and big orders, those who order small will be forced to pay a higher shipping cost.
Include Shipping Fee into the Product Price
You can also add the cost of the shipping to the product price. Customers know this is a trick used by many online stores, but they are willing to pay more for the product than pay a couple of dollars for shipment. You can still promote a free shipping offer to your customers. To lessen the burden on the customers, you can talk with courier services to get better shipping rates, which discounts you can pass on to your consumers.
Say free on anything, and consumers will grab that opportunity. There’s nothing more consumers love than getting things for free, especially from brands that they love. Always think of ways to offer free shipping because this is what they really love.