Shipping is a big cost for small businesses that offer products online. It makes sense to want to put those costs on the customer, but there are some serious benefits of offering free shipping that you should consider.
Whether you’re offering shipping worldwide or only to your region, there are some considerations you should keep in mind.
Benefits of Offering Free Shipping
It Could Increase Sales and Revenue
I don’t know about you but I hate paying for shipping. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I ultimately pay for it—I just hate to see it as a line item on a bill. It’s awful to see $300 for bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones plus $28 in shipping.
I know the company is already making a profit off me, and I think it looks really tacky for them to point out that they’re also throwing the shipping on my plate as well. It feels very profit centric and I’m unlikely to make a purchase from that company.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one.
While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll make additional sales and revenue for simply offering free shipping, over half of the retailers out there do it. And many of them report higher profits.
Shipping Costs Can Be Controlled
Your shipping costs depend on where you’re sending a product and who’s getting it for you. And, in a lot of cases, you control both of those.
You can use a fulfillment service to lessen shipping costs from more faraway places. Likewise, you can pick the shipping provider that you use and go with the one that has costs and services that work best for you. You can reduce the shipping costs by controlling the packaging and even limit free shipping.
Moreover, shipping costs are predictable for businesses. That means that you can offer free shipping while adjusting the price to make sure that you still cover what you need to.
Increase Customer Loyalty
As I shared in my earlier story, I often don’t make purchases from companies that don’t offer free shipping. It costs me way more than it should and I find it to be completely unnecessary that they blatantly throw the shipping costs on my bill.
This is common with a lot of customers. We like free shipping and we’re more likely to make a purchase from businesses that cover it on our behalf (even if we know we still technically pay for it). Going that small extra mile can go a long way in securing loyal customers down the line.
If you do it right, offering free shipping doesn’t mean that you have to pay for the shipping, but it gives a great indication to your customers that you’re keeping them in mind when they make a purchase.
What benefits of offering free shipping do you like as a business owner? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tae started out as a journalist before following the money into the corporate world. But it turns out that the grass isn’t always greener and now you can find her spending most of her time writing about all the things she loves. Namely, money, travel and business with a hefty dose of self-deprecating humor. She is a podcast fanatic, blogging aficionado and loves to find new ways to turn passions into cold hard cash!