Setting your business apart from the competition in today’s crowded eCommerce marketplace is more important than ever. While there are several customer service related initiatives that you can implement to help you separate your brand from your competitors and win customers over, there is one specific benefit that we will focus on in this article. That is, of course, the benefit of offering fast and free shipping. For small-to-medium eCommerce businesses, shipping is the name of the game when it comes to attracting and retaining customers.
The Benefits: Why You Should Offer Free Shipping & Two-Day Delivery
Before we go any further, let’s dive right into the benefits of offering free shipping and two-day delivery.
- Stay competitive with larger retailers such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
- Attract and retain customers by offering a benefit that has become a staple to the online customer experience in today’s industry.
- Customers will feel more confident in their purchases, which will limit cart abandonment.
- Increased customer satisfaction will bring customers back to your website in the future.
- More likely that customers will increase their order volumes. After all, in the eyes of the customer, free shipping is money saved!
Check out this article for more ideas on how you can create a memorable eCommerce experience for your customers.
Is Offering Free Shipping Worth the Cost?
This is the big question that many businesses ask themselves. The answer depends on a few different variables. For starters, we recommend testing and assessing different eCommerce shipping scenarios. For example, you can test out the utilization of free shipping with orders over $50.
Here are some other things to consider as you mull over the notion of free shipping:
- Take a look at your profit margins. Know exactly how much room you have to implement something like free shipping or two-day shipping with your specific products.
- Know your customers. Are your customers domestic or international? These are factors you need to consider when you calculate your estimated shipping costs.
- Consider offering free shipping on specific products. These are the products with your highest profit margins. On the flip side, some of your bigger, heavier items just may require some of the shipping costs to be passed on to your customers.
- Build your market share. Even if you take a small, temporary loss from free shipping, you may still want to consider this option as a way to build your customer base.
Calculating Shipping Costs for Your eCommerce Business
Finding a nice balance between keeping good margins and keeping your customers happy is the trick to a good business. For this to be done, you need to calculate the lowest price you are willing to send items to customers for free. This is referred to as your shipping minimum threshold. To figure this out properly, you need to calculate your average order value (AOV) and then set your free shipping just above this number to entice your customers to add on extra items that they are up in the air about.
Before you implement any free shipping perks on your website, it is essential to calculate your shipping minimum threshold. If you need help calculating your shipping minimum threshold, reach out to us today and our team will be glad to help!
Not Ready to Offer Free-Shipping? Competitive Ways to Charge for Shipping
Maybe your business isn’t quite ready to offer free shipping. And that’s okay! In fact, listed below are a few alternative ways to help you charge for shipping while still being competitive.
- Charge a flat rate. Customers respect a flat shipping rate. It’s a simple concept to grasp. No matter how big or small the order, the shipping cost is always the same. For this reason, many customers will often purchase more items to make it worth their while.
- Lower your product costs and inflate your shipping fees. With an irresistibly low product cost, customers will be drawn to your website. This is a popular tactic that works for many, but be careful with it. Customers may abandon their carts if they feel caught by surprise with extra fees. Be sure to market this idea with fair intentions and transparency around your shipping costs.
- Develop a customer loyalty or membership program. This is a popular option for large retailers. However, that doesn’t mean small-to-midsize companies can’t make it work, too. Customers pay a monthly price to be in the loyalty program, and in return, they receive free shipping. It may take some logistical reworking with your website, but it can be very beneficial in the long run.
Separate Your eCommerce Business From the Pack with Creative, Shopper-Friendly Alternatives to Free Shipping
Free and fast shipping is not your only option when it comes to separating your business from the competition. First and foremost, don’t be afraid to be unique. Whether that’s in your messaging, color schemes, or the products themselves, don’t be afraid to do something different from the rest of your competitors.
When it comes to your specific products, be sure to include value adds and multiple options whenever available. If possible, allow your products to be customizable in some way. It’s also a great idea to use eco-friendly materials whenever possible. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you will also attract more consumers who appreciate your green initiatives.
Streamlining Your Full Order Fulfillment Processes with an End-to-End 3PL Partner Like Ship My Orders
An end-to-end 3PL (3rd Party Logistics) fulfillment partner, such as Ship My Orders, is a very popular option for small-to-midsize businesses in the eCommerce market. For those unfamiliar with 3PLs, these are outsourced providers who can take on your distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment services. More specifically, 3PLs handle all product shipping tasks for the companies who hire them. They also manage and oversee storage, picking, packing, shipping, returns, refurbishing, restocking, inventory management, and customer service processes.
Using a 3PL makes shipping easy and affordable for the small-to-midsize eCommerce business. All of the above-mentioned shipping-related tasks are simply streamlined into one 3PL partner. As a business with a 3PL partner at your side, you no longer need to deal with any of the headaches that come with in-house shipping. If you are looking for a more in-depth breakdown of this partnership and process, learn how our fulfillment process works, here.
Streamlining your order fulfillment processes with Ship My Orders is MUCH easier than you think!
Here at Ship My Orders, we can get you onboard even quicker than you might think. In fact, we often can start 24-48 hours after we receive your merchandise. Along with our fast onboarding process, we have the ability to customize the shipping process to meet the specific needs of your business.
Ship My Orders is perfect for:
- Small start-up businesses who need help with shipping and storage.
- Businesses looking to cut shipping costs and produce faster order fulfillment results.
- Mid-size businesses that are outgrowing their in-house shipping and storage capacities.
- Businesses that want to focus more on growth and advertising instead of shipping logistics.
If you are still on the fence about 3PLs, take a look at this article for tips on how to choose a trustworthy 3PL provider.
Get started with Ship My Orders today!
As you can see, shipping matters more than ever in today’s crowded world of eCommerce business! If shipping is not free, it needs to be affordable and fast if you want your customers to stick around. If you need help getting your shipping up to par, don’t wait any longer. Put your shipping logistics into the hands of Ship My Orders, your reliable 3PL partner. Reach out to us at Ship My Orders to get a quote TODAY.