Should You Offer Free Shipping?
Why do you offer free shipping?
To help you decide if you want your company to offer free shipping, we asked operation experts and business leaders this question for their best advice. From creating spending minimums to increase sales to removing decision friction, there are several reasons why free shipping could benefit your company.
Here are eight reasons why free shipping is important:
- Customers Value Free Shipping
- Spending Minimums Increase Sales
- Improve the Buying Experience
- Keeping Up With the Times
- Avoid Hidden Fees
- Free Shipping Adds Incentive
- Provide a Hassle-Free Experience
- Remove Decision Friction
Customers Value Free Shipping
At Stomadent, we have found that free shipping can make the difference between gaining or losing a sale. In today’s market, customers value free shipping, and some even expect it. Amazon Prime is a good example of why customers look for companies that offer free shipping. Companies may struggle with deciding to provide free shipping, but we have seen increased sales benefits. In the long run, the positives outweigh the negatives.
-Gennady Babichenko, Stomadent
Spending Minimums Increase Sales
One of the most effective marketing methods for an e-commerce site is to remind customers who are ready to check out that they could receive free shipping if they spend a little more to meet our free delivery minimum. Although my company always offers free delivery for our customers to keep up with increased customer service standards from e-commerce shoppers, asking customers to spend slightly more to receive free shipping is a great marketing tactic for companies who aren’t yet profitable enough to offer free shipping on all orders. Oftentimes, customers will spend much more than the delivery minimum when trying to meet it. This means that you’ll be able to afford the cost of covering shipping while still netting a gain from this purchase. You’ll also be making your customer feel like they’ve received a great deal.
-Chris Vaughn, Emjay
Improve the Buying Experience
At The Lash Professional, we offer USPS priority mail or 1st class for free on orders over $99. By offering no-hassle, 2-3 business day delivery times, we can take care of our customers and improve their buying experience. For example, our clients can get the Lash Extension Aftercare Kit with everything they need to ensure that their lashes stay perfect in the days and weeks after their appointment without worrying about additional shipping fees. With these in hand, our clients’ lashes will look amazing in no time, at no additional shipping costs.
-Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Keeping Up With the Times
With stay-at-home orders forcing most consumers to shop exclusively online rather than in-store, customer expectations of e-commerce sites over the past year have skyrocketed. Competing with Amazon will be e-commerce professionals’ biggest goal in 2021, with consumers looking for free overnight shipping and free returns from their online shopping platforms. Noémie offers a risk-free shopping experience, including free overnight shipping and returns on all items, even if it's a custom design. An exceptional standard of customer service will become the norm for all companies in the coming years due to the rise of Amazon and heightened customer expectations. It’s not a matter of setting yourself apart from the crowd but keeping up with the times.
-Yuvi Alpert, Noémie
Avoid Hidden Fees
We advertise our products with free shipping, which means there are no zip code calculations at the checkout. What we discovered is that we have a higher conversion rate because customers don't have to spend time figuring out the hidden costs when researching products. All of our competitors require customers to log in and enter their shipping address, just to calculate the shipping expenses. There is so much friction involved with this process that customers turn away. Our shipping costs are tacked onto the product cost, but we can advertise free shipping, and the customers know right away what the cost is without worrying about crazy hidden fees.
-Jeff Neal, The Critter Depot
Free Shipping Adds Incentive
We throw our free shipping discount on all orders over $100.00. Customers can typically spend a good amount on shipping with the everyday Amazon purchase, so cutting that cost out is pretty beneficial for us to remain attractive while selling our pieces. Additional shipping costs could deter many customers if they didn’t calculate it into their budget when viewing your items online. Therefore, setting a minimum purchase amount that is not too high allows our customers to feel like they got the most bang for their buck without putting their dollar into something they can’t wear.
-Dan Potter, CRAFTD
Provide a Hassle-Free Experience
We offer convenient mail-in denture repair services with free shipping both ways. Our mail-in service is also 100% safe and secure, hassle-free, and rapid with our 100% money-back guarantee. For this service, we do full denture repairs, denture tooth repairs, denture cleaning, polishing, and more. When customers or patients see the value they get from our hassle-free mail-in service, they are much more inclined to appreciate the convenience and take action.
-Henry Babichenko, Eurodenture
Remove Decision Friction
Our offerings are mostly virtual. However, some of our past events included shipping components like tea light campfire s'mores kits or cocktail ingredients. Instead of imposing an additional shipping fee, we factored mailing costs into our price package. Online shipping costs can be a deterrent to buyers. Consumers often feel guilt over paying delivery fees since they could plausibly visit a brick-and-mortar store to avoid shipping costs. Waiving shipping or including the costs in a standard price makes customers feel more fiscally responsible and removes a major point of friction from the decision-making process.
-Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.