Shipping Strategies To Increase Your E-commerce Sales
Let’s try to comprehend the journey of an online buyer.
The user comes to your website -> likes a product -> adds it to the cart -> comes to the checkout page. Here comes the big deal. Customers drop out from this juncture looking at the sudden increase in their total amount due to additional and high shipping/handling charges.
Some of them might still make the payment while rest would abandon their decision to buy as their perception of their purchase value has changed due to shipping charges.
So how can you influence their minds and get them to make a purchase? Let’s read about some strategies that can act as a stimulus for your customer to complete the purchase journey.
Charge What You Pay
One way to ensure you’re not over charging shipping costs to your customers nor making losses is by defining your own shipping methods and letting your customers choose from an array of shipping options. Using a real-time shipping rate calculator app lets you win the customer’s trust. It reflects transparency and the fact that you are not inflating your set shipping charges or increasing the product’s price to cover the shipping charges.
It’s also a good approach for oversized or heavy items which you cannot or don’t want to allow under your free shipping category.
There will certainly be peaks and valleys, but in most cases you will end up breaking even between the shipping cost you charge your customers and the one you pay for it.
In the Flat rate strategy, you can choose to assign one fixed rate for a product or decide flat rates as per weight range or total order value. Before you freeze this method, you need to be sure about many aspects and be aware of your average shipping and related its related costs so that you don’t under or overestimate and charge the same to your customers.
The calculated average shipping cost (as per the flat rate approach) shall definitely be over or under your actual shipping cost of that respective product, but at the end it will be well-adjusted. The only way you’ll get to know what flat rate best works for your business is by trial and testing. Over a period of time you will be able to gauge the results through regular analysis and reports.
Research shows that 46% of customers are willing to pay a little more for their order if its shipping is free and 84% shoppers prefer to shop with brands that offer free shipping.
Offering Free Shipping is a successfully proven approach to increase your e-commerce sales. However, depending on your margins, it can possibly bring down your profits. You can either bear the shipping cost and compromise on your profit margins or you can slightly increase your product cost to cover it up.
Another way to offer shipping is by setting a minimum cart value above which your customers can avail free shipping. This will also improve your average order value and profitability to apply the shipping cost against.
The scope of free shipping also depends on your offering’s niche. If you are selling high-end designer or luxurious items, marking up the cost of your product to compensate for free shipping will not create much of an issue, not having a great influence in the customer’s buying decision. However, if you are dealing with a fast moving or highly competitive product category which also usually entails free shipping facility, increasing your product cost might not be the smartest thing to do. In such cases, you will have to take a different route or absorb the shipping cost.
It’s not necessary to offer Free Shipping in order to up your ecommerce sales game. Strategic analysis of your past and present sales statistics along with continuous experimentation in your approach will help you determine the best route for your sales growth.