WizMe Flat Rate Shipping
You may be debating whether or not free, discounted or flat shipping is something you can afford. If your competitors offer free or flat rate shipping then you must do something similar, or loose sales.
12 Ways You Can Offer Free Shipping Without Going Broke
And – How Free Shipping Can Hook Your Customers
Free shipping is not an option for all merchants. However the benefits you will receive when offering free shipping are potentially immense. 60% of eBay sellers and many other merchants offer free shipping. Others would like to do so. Most who offer free shipping see an immediate boost to their online sales, larger order size, and increased profitability.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to free shipping. What works for one merchant may completely destroy the profit margins of another. And in some cases, offering your customers free shipping is simply not viable.
In this article, we’re going to discuss shoppers views of shipping costs, the 12 ways you can offer free shipping, and how using flat rate courier shipping will open these business building strategies for you.
A. Shipping and handling costs were too high
B. I was not ready to purchase the product
C. I wanted to compare prices on other sites
D. Product price was higher than I was willing to pay
E. Just wanted to save products in my cart for later consideration
F. Shipping costs were listed too late during the checkout process
G. I did not want to register with that site
H. Site was asking for too much information
I. Checkout process was too long or confusing
J. Website was too slow
K. I did not have sufficient information to make the purchase
For years online shoppers have voiced concern over shipping costs. Most will choose either free or the cheapest shipping, or will increase their order size to get free shipping. Many others will repeat purchase from the same retailer because of their shipping offer.
A. I always choose free / cheapest shipping option
B. I often purchase enough to get free shipping if available
C. I have bought from a specific online retailer because of a shipping offer
D. Slow delivery has caused me to stop shopping at a given online retailer
E. I don’t pay attention to shipping costs
While “all free, all the time” shipping where you absorb 100% of shipping and handling costs is great for buyers, it may not be an option for you. Don’t fret. There are ways to offer meaningful shipping deals that may work for your business. You don’t necessarily have to offer free shipping on everything in order to increase sales or become more competitive.
Here are 12 commonly-used ways to offer your shoppers and customers free shipping.
1. Shipping Free Nationwide, All The Time. Offer free shipping on all orders, regardless of the items included or the order value. This is generally more viable for merchants with smaller, lighter weight products.
2. Free Shipping To Specific Postcodes. Australia is a huge Continent with vast shipping distances. But 70%+ of our population live in or near city areas. It’s common to have stipulations relative to delivery method and destination. For instance free delivery restricted to city areas. And slower paid delivery to outer areas.
3. Free Shipping with Minimum Order Size. Compared to free shipping on everything, this is a much more common and realistic tactic. Setting minimum order value thresholds is a way to encourage larger orders and reduce risk. Figure out your average order size and make your minimum threshold 15 to 20 percent higher to encourage customers to buy a little more than they normally would. For example, if your average order value is $50, you may decide to test this option by offering free delivery on orders that are a bit higher than average, say at $60.
4. Free Shipping, Only On Certain Items. A tried and true method for getting rid of items you have overstocked or that has the best margin. TIP: Rather than only choosing highmargin items, which may include a range of SKUs from a variety of product categories, you may want to make some exceptions for lower-margin items so that your offer can be more easily communicated to your customers.
5. Free Shipping at Certain Times of the Year. Offer free shipping periodically, rather than all year round, or a times when you competition is more aggressive and shoppers expectations for free shipping are at a peak. Depending on your products, it is also a good idea to test free shipping offers at other times of the year, such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
6. Free Shipping to 7-Day Collection Points. A staggering percentage of online shoppers regularly miss a delivery and are frustrated by courier calling cards. Some courier networks use Newsagents, and the like, as local parcel drop points. Encourage shoppers to select delivery to that ‘nearest collection point’ by offering free shipping to those locations.
7. Free Site-To-Store Shipping. An increasingly common tactic, especially with big chains that have many locations. Using this offer it’s free if your shopper drops by the store to pick it up, an option that can lead to in-store purchases as well.
8. Free Shipping – To Members Only. An increasingly popular method. You charge customers an annual fee to ‘join the club’, and then your shipping is free.
9. Loyalty Free Shipping Coupons. A great way to provide extra incentive to encourage repeat purchases and build life-time customer value. Email a ‘free or discounted shipping’ coupon to your customers. The coupon code is entered at checkout and free or discounted shipping is then applied with the order.
10. Flat-Rate Shipping. Okay, it’s not completely free, but it usually represents a substantial discount over what shoppers might otherwise have paid for shipping. It also flags the shipping cost before checkout. Using this tactic part of the shipping costs is free, and the cost is contained at one low rate to prevent unpleasant shipping-cost surprises. This option works well with minimum order size thresholds.
11. Load Shipping Fees into Product Price. Okay, so this isn’t really free shipping either. Nevertheless it’s worth a go. Add the cost of shipping into the product price so that you can promote a “free shipping” offer. While some shoppers will catch on, this can be an effective way to, at a minimum, generate more traffic to your website, and likely get some increased sales from it as well. This tactic works well with free shipping to specific postcodes.
12. Free Shipping on Returns. If you’re an apparel or footwear retailer, this one is particularly appealing for buyers. And if you have a high rate of returns, offering free shipping on those returns should be considered and tested, as it’s very common and expected for many items.
Related: 13 Ways To Trim Your Shipping Costs
Testing different offers is key to finding the most profitable free shipping strategy for your business. It is also important to first look at areas where expenses can be cut. For example, if you currently handle fulfilment in house, you may try to get a better negotiated rate from shipping carriers. You may also consider outsourced fulfilment as a way to reduce shipping costs and get closer to your customers.
Without known shipping costs it is very difficult for you to calculate what freight costs you can absorb to offer a ‘free shipping’ service that will boost visitor conversion rates yet still maintain a reasonable margin and profit.
Although shipping calculators are accurate, many are difficult to use, and the process takes time to enter package dimensions and weight. There are often times when the actual shipping rate for a package exceeds what you expected. WizMe solves this problem … if it fits a WizMe Flat Rate Box or Satchel the consignment ships at a Flat Rate Fee. Given that all WizMe Flat Rate Boxes have a predetermined and fixed shipping cost nationwide it makes it much easier for you to budget shipping costs and consider this ‘free shipping’ strategy.