October 6, 2014
In our last post, we examined how shipping impacts branding and customer satisfaction and we talked about how businesses can use this to an advantage.
Here, we’ll teach you six shipping tactics to increase your sales conversions using ecommerce shipping deals.
Consider attractive shipping policies your deal-closer: It’s a measure to counteract the abandoned cart phenomenon that plagues so many ecommerce sellers. Every day, customers are following through on purchases they might otherwise have passed on thanks to free shipping or other promotions.
Ways to increase conversion rates:
Unconditional free shipping
First things first. If you choose to make all shipping free, shout it from the rooftops. Free shipping can clinch the sale, so make sure potential buyers know that you’ve got them covered. As we discussed earlier, shoppers are more inclined to follow through with a purchase and to add more to their carts when shipping is free, so you want them to know about it before they begin shopping. If they only learn about the deal during checkout, its effectiveness in converting buyers is diminished.
Promotional free shipping
You don’t have to offer free shipping all the time to help boost your conversions. Sprinkle in a few promos now and then to develop loyalty with buyers. The results will speak for themselves.
You can offer Qualifying-item promotions that promote free shipping. The expense of shipping can sometimes be recouped in the purchase price of the qualifying items themselves, and promotions for particular products can help move inventory as needed. You might also determine that for certain products, the margins are high enough to justify free shipping on those selections.
Conditional free shipping
Conditional free shipping offers can run the gamut, so get creative. Some of the more common variations of conditional free shipping include:
Threshold free shipping
Even the giants do it: granting free shipping to customers who spend at or beyond a certain dollar value. Remember, setting a threshold at which buyers achieve free shipping incentivizes three out of four shoppers to add items to their carts. As we discussed earlier, offering threshold free shipping can not only boost your per-customer sales, it can help you close the sale altogether – not to mention help cover the cost of the shipping. It’s a win-win scenario.
One “condition” could be that the shopper registers for your mailing list, allowing you to keep in touch. Some stores offer VIP programs and reward customers who have purchased a certain amount of product over a set period of time with free shipping. At the other end of the spectrum, you might be inclined to offer free shipping to new customers so that you can lock in loyalty (and that first sale) with a terrific first impression.
When it comes to shipping, simplicity can be a beautiful thing. Shipping rates that are calculated live can be problematic for savvy shoppers who look around for product prices as well as shipping costs, causing them to cast a wandering eye right over to your competitors. Flat-rate shipping isn’t as heavily scrutinized, since buyers know in advance that shipping will cost a certain amount no matter what. After all, $4.99 sounds like a deal, and with such cheap shipping, a shopper might throw more into their cart. The flat-rate route ensures up- front awareness for your business, too, meaning you can increase the product prices to absorb the cost, or pass some of your internal expenses on to the customer.
Thanks for following our series on Creating Value Through Ecommerce Shipping. Our next (and last) post in the series will review different shipping methods so that you can determine which option or combination of options adds the most value to your business!