Free shipping is a necessity for many businesses that sell their products via an online store. If your competitors are offering free shipping to their customers and you are not, you will be left behind in the market and potentially lose many of your customers.
There are certain costs involved in shipping for free, but it usually still proves to be worth it to put up a free shipping offer every once in a while on your ecommerce site.
When Amazon first introduced free shipping a few years ago, it didn’t make much sense for the smaller ecommerce traders to follow suit. They couldn’t understand how to profit from their sales if they don’t charge a shipping fee to cover their shipping costs. But as these businesses scale up and gain more experience selling their products online, they realize the value that customers place on free shipping offers.
Free shipping has become common because it works as a win-win strategy, which means it benefits both the sellers and the buyers. Let’s talk about 5 ways in which free shipping can help your business.
5 Ways Free Shipping Can Benefit Your Business
1. Free Shipping Might Increase Your Sales Revenue
Your customers already know about the concept of free shipping, even if you don’t do shipping for free. They have heard about it from your competitors, and especially from the giant ecommerce sites. Most of them have also bought something from one of these sites and enjoyed the benefit of the shipping offer. If you conduct a competitor analysis, you can find that out. So it’s not like if you don’t offer free shipping, your customers would be unaware of that option.
Every customer likes to save money on a purchase. If you offer free shipping and absorb the shipping costs within your business, your customers will see your shipping offer as an opportunity to save money. This will entice them to buy more from you, causing a rise in your online sales.
2. Free Shipping Raises the Average Value of Orders
When you offer free shipping to your customers, they are more likely to buy more items per transaction from your online store. When they feel like they are saving on the shipping fee, they want to take maximum advantage of the opportunity. They end up filling up their shopping cart more.
A free shipping offer can influence a customer to buy twice the number of items or products worth twice the price than they would buy if you were not shipping for free. This boosts the average value of orders placed on your website. If you track your orders regularly and calculate your average order value, you would notice that the deal goes higher every time you put up a free shipping offer to sell from your store.
Image taken from Strikingly
Therefore, when you introduce free shipping, some portion of the rise in your sales revenue will come from the increase in the number of sales, while another part of it will be caused by the increase in your average order or transaction value.
3. Free Shipping Costs Can be Controlled
You must be thinking that when you offer free shipping, you will face a loss for covering the shipping costs. But the reality is that it is possible to cover the shipping costs with the higher overall profit margins you make.
You need to keep your competitors’ pricing in mind before you set the prices on your online store. But you can still control your shipping costs by covering them partially in the product price. You don’t always need to race to the bottom in your pricing, or else you will feel helpless. You do not need to offer irrationally low prices.
What you can do instead is minimize your shipping costs. By managing your shipping expenses properly, you may maintain good profit margins, without raising your prices too high.
There are several ways to control your shipping expenses.
1. Limit Your Free Shipping Offers
Offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount only. If a customer makes a purchase worth less than the set amount, they have to pay the shipping fee. You don’t do shipping for free for all orders that are priced below the set amount. This will encourage your customers to place bigger orders so that they can cash in on the free shipping offer.
2. Select Carriers and Service Levels Carefully
Do some research and explore different combinations of carriers and their service levels to develop the minimum shipping cost for each shipment. One carrier might be suitable for nearby deliveries while another might cost less for cost-country shipments.
3. Minimize the Packaging
One way to control the shipping costs is to minimize the packaging of the shipped products. We are living in an era of ever-present dimensional weight shipping fees. If you can reduce your packaging size per order, you can decrease its shipping cost.
4. Free Shipping Makes Your Customers More Loyal
The key to getting repeat purchases from your existing customers is to make them loyal to you by satisfying their needs. Although no evidence offering free shipping helps you retain customers, successful marketers believe that there is a correlation between customer retention and free shipping offers.
A free shipping offer is more appealing for many consumers than a sale price offer, notably if it is announced via a newsletter or email. Emails announcing product discounts barely get a 60% conversion rate, but marketing emails that offer free shipping reveal a greater rise in leads and conversions.
Usually, you would only send out emails to either your existing customers or have subscribed for your newsletters and updates. When these people see your shipping offer in the email, they receive it as a present and become more loyal to your brand.
Make sure you have a subscription form built on your landing page so that you can keep collecting email addresses and building your subscribers list. You can also offer something in return for people’s email addresses, such as a free e-book download.
By offering free shipping, you might be able to solve the bigger problems of your business.
You may be able to penetrate a new market by offering free shipping from the new customer segment on all orders for a limited period.
You might suddenly experience a rise in your brand equity because your customers get too happy with your shipping offer and start buying more regularly from you.
You might get more efficient in managing your orders due to the squeeze in revenue that you initially feel when you start offering free shipping.
You can eventually increase the prices of your products when their demand goes high due to free shipping.
These are all possible scenarios that can give you bigger benefits than the slight loss you would feel by having to cover your shipping costs yourself.
How to Offer Free Shipping From Your Strikingly Website
If you build a website in Strikingly, we provide you with features that make it easy for you to offer free shipping to your customers. All you need to do is take the following steps.
Set up shipping for your online store. By default, your Strikingly store will allow you to set up a flat rate for the shipment of all orders, which will be applied to the price during the customer’s checkout. Using the Strikingly Pro Plan, you can also set up different flat rates for different regions or countries. You can access this from the ‘Shipping’ section in your Strikingly editor.
Image taken from Strikingly
Add a free shipping policy to your website. You can either offer free shipping on all orders or offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount. In the ‘Shipping Options’ section, check the box that says ‘Grant free shipping to orders of at least a certain amount before tax’. This option is only available to the Pro Strikingly users.
Image taken from Strikingly
Make sure your checkout page is smooth and displays your shipping offer clearly. Connect your store to suitable payment gateways, and make a test sale to confirm no technical issues in the checkout process.
Image taken from Strikingly
Once you are done with these steps, you are all set to offer free shipping to your customers. You can make changes to these settings at any time. It is effortless to edit your website content or change its settings to suit your business needs in a Strikingly website.
If you have any inquiries on how to use the tools and features in Strikingly, you can contact our customer support team any time via our 24/7 live chat built into our website. You can also visit our knowledge-based help center to find answers to some of the frequently asked questions. We welcome new questions from members of our community and are here to serve in any way we can.
We value our users who are struggling to grow their businesses and are always there to help you resolve any issues you may have with the website that you build in Strikingly.