Now that you know more about why free shipping is appealing to customers, and the advantages of offering it to them, you may be asking where to begin. Here are some easy ways to help you start using a free shipping policy for your online business:
- Calculate your free shipping threshold. This number should be near enough to what your average consumer spends but high enough to cover your costs. Look at sales data from the previous 6 to 12 months of activity to find the sweet spot between setting a spending limit too high and too low.
- Take a look at what your rivals are offering. Though the most essential thing is to ensure you’re not losing money, you should also check out what your rivals are doing because you want to provide potential consumers a cause to select you over them.
- Before you commit to a free shipping plan, try it out first. You don’t have to make a decision about any free shipping method right away; instead, you may test your policy for two to four weeks and then analyze the data to determine what works best in your specific e-commerce situation.
- Don’t forget about returns. Returns are an inevitable part of e-commerce, and it’s up to you to strike a balance between satisfying your customers and keeping your business afloat. Consider free returns, customer-financed returns, or a set fee for customer returns as alternatives.
- Once you’ve decided on a free shipping policy, make sure everyone understands it. Consumers want to know exactly what they’re getting before they buy anything. Consider this less like a policy and more like a marketing strategy. Make certain that everyone who visits your site is aware that you offer free delivery.
- Work the cost into your product pricing. If you really want to offer free delivery but can’t afford to absorb the expenses yourself, you may be able to include it (or at least part of it) into your product costs. Just keep in mind that you don’t want to price yourself out of the market by going too high.
Adding free shipping to your e-commerce store has the potential to increase sales and consumer loyalty, but it may not be appropriate for your business at this time. If, for example, you have already been losing money because of poor profit margins, adding free shipping to the mix might reduce your profits even further or totally negate them.
Free Shipping: The Bottom Line
Free shipping is a powerful marketing tool that has aided many e-commerce companies in achieving significant benefits. However, before you implement a free delivery policy for your own business, you must consider the benefits and drawbacks – as well as whether it will work and how to put one in place.
There are three things to consider when deciding whether or not to offer free delivery:
- Are your margins high enough to cover the costs?
- Will you still be making a profit once all costs are covered?
- How do you plan to use free shipping as a marketing tool?
These questions might assist you in determining whether free shipping is a good fit for your business. If you decide it’s a good fit, read through the suggestions below to learn how to start using your policy.