Do You Really Need to Offer Free Shipping
If you’re a small business just starting out, the chances are that you don’t have all of the money in the world to play with. You’ll want to run your business in a way that keeps your customer happy without spending a lot of money upfront.
Shipping your product isn’t an insignificant cost, and it can be tempting to pass that cost straight on to your customer. Unfortunately, if you do that, you will be hurting your business. In the age of Amazon Prime, customers expect nothing less than speedy and free delivery. Not offering this can actually lose your orders.
So how do you offer free shipping while still turning a profit?
Get your shipping costs as low as possible.
The most important thing you can do is shop around for a carrier who can provide you low-cost shipping while still providing a good level of service. It’s no use negotiating a cheap deal, but then finding that your customers aren’t receiving their packages!
The first thing you’ll need to do is narrow down your list of potential shipping providers to ones that you know provide a good service. You can get great information from sites like Trustpilot, where other businesses will have left reviews of their experiences.
Before approaching any of these companies, have a good idea of what kind of service you need. For example, will you need insurance, how large are your packages likely to be, and what is the volume of packages that you are likely to be sending? The volume of packages is likely to determine your shipping cost, so it’s important not to underestimate if you want the best deal.
It can be really tricky to negotiate a good deal on shipping, so a lot of people approach a shipping consulting company for guidance. They will have software that will be able to search for the best possible deals for you based on your requirements, which gives you the information you need to carry out a productive negotiation and get the best possible price.
If you can get your shipping cost nice and low, you can simply include it within the product’s cost. It’s also a good idea to consider implementing a minimum order value for free shipping. This has been shown to encourage customers to spend more.
What fast, free shipping will do for you
Free shipping offers a lot of advantages. You will likely get a lot fewer abandoned carts, as 44% of online shoppers who abandon their carts cited high shipping costs as the reason. A further 24% of customers said that they had canceled orders in the past because the shipping was too slow.
Not only will you get more completed orders, you will get more satisfied customers, leading to more orders in the future and invaluable referrals. So many people shop on Amazon because they know that they can be guaranteed delivery of their goods, and quickly too. People remember service like this next time they need to make a purchase.
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