If you are a business owner whose products require shipping, whether or not to charge a fee can be a tricky decision. Although free shipping is a consumers’ dream, it can have financial drawbacks for you.
Before diving in, you may want to consider your options. What would be the best fit for your business?
- Look at using promotional offers other than free shipping, as they can be just as effective.
- Evaluate how heavily you rely on free shipping as a selling point. Many businesses offer free shipping; what sets your business apart?
- How will you manage return shipping? Will your package come with a return shipping label or will the customer be charged for return shipping?
- Research whether your small business can afford free shipping, as it can be costly. You have to do what’s best for your business; free shipping may set you back more than move you forward financially.
If you decide that free shipping could benefit your business, you may want to consider incorporating these strategies:
- Offer a minimum purchase amount. This promotes sales while still allowing your business to make a profit.
- Shop around to see which shipping company has the best offers. Some companies offer promotions and discount packages for small businesses.
- Remind customers about what they’re saving on shipping. Showing how much they would have spent without free shipping serves as validation during the buying process.
- The more you ship, the more discounts may be available to you — be sure to inquire about volume discounts.
Include easy-to-find shipping information and policies on your website and packaging — this will prevent confusion when customers are planning to buy or return items. In order to really make an impression, it may be a good idea to provide shipment tracking numbers, so customers know where their package is. One-day delivery can also be a good way to increase customer satisfaction. These strategies can be helpful in promoting repeat sales.
Your small business is unique; you want it to grow and flourish over time. Before making any decisions, you may want to determine if offering free shipping will increase your profitability.