Free shipping – two words that make most ecommerce sellers cringe. To ship for free–or not–is an issue that all ecommerce sellers have to deal with. After all it cuts into the bottom line or does it? But before you dismiss the idea of free shipping consider this–customers hate paying for shipping! And in the end, that is not good for completion of sales.
Ask any customer how they feel about shipping. They will tell you that one of the biggest reasons they don’t buy items is because they don’t feel they should have to pay for shipping charges or that the fees are too expensive. These reasons have not fallen on deaf ears for brick and mortar sellers. Many traditional sellers now offer free pick ups for items purchased on their online sites. Unfortunately, many ecommerce sellers do not have that option, yet they still must compete in the same arena for a completed sale.
Consumer study after study shows that the top reason for shopping cart abandonment is shopping charges. Think about the last time you bought something online and then realized you had to pay for shipping. How often did you complete the sale? Fortunately, there is a way to offer free shipping and not lose your shirt in the process.
Finding Alternative Costs Reduction for Fulfillment
With a little creativity ecommerce sellers can afford to offer free shipping to their customers. There are two simple ways:
- offer promos that require customers to purchase more items or a higher value to get free shipping and
- partner with a fulfillment center that can save you time and money.
By hiking up minimum sale requirements or number of items, you will increase sales. For example, require a customer to buy two or three products to get shipping. Or you can offer free shipping requiring that they purchase $50 to get shipping costs waived or reduced. This can offset any costs of shipping, while saving your customers money.
An equally smart way to save money on shipping is to hire a third-party fulfillment provider. They can provide efficient ways to ship items, even globally while saving you money. They will work in tandem with you to provide real time tracking for your customers. They also have the resources to save you time and money that are not available to most ecommerce sellers.
Always keep in mind that the word “free” is the most enticing word to customers. When you offer free shipping, you can increase sales but only if done wisely. Increase the requirement of products or value for the customer to get free shipping. And of course, partner with a fulfillment center that can help you save time and money.