As the pandemic worsens, more individuals turn to eCommerce instead of purchasing in stores. According to a Shopify poll, about half of buyers are hesitant to visit physical stores for fear of becoming infected.
Even though eCommerce is expanding, converting customers is more complicated than ever. Inconvenient shipping alternatives, long delivery periods, and stock shortages are all critical reasons for abandonment, according to 57 percent of buyers. Furthermore, around 50% of buyers blame excessive shipping charges, exaggerated taxes, and hefty fees for their frustrations. Optimizing your shipping and delivery is critical because you can’t do much about taxes and fees. A well-thought-out shipping strategy is essential for converting customers and encouraging them toward repeat purchases, whether you’re selling locally or across borders. Furthermore, a well-designed shipping plan may reduce cart abandonment, raise average purchase value, and, most crucially, enhance customer conversion.
This post attempts to assist eCommerce business owners in developing and implementing shipping tactics that can potentially increase sales and keep customers coming back for more. So, without further ado, let us get started.
- Make shipping free.
Who doesn’t enjoy getting something for nothing? And if you offer free delivery, you’ll have a better chance of securing that sale, as 90 percent of consumers consider free shipping to be the most appealing incentive for shopping online.
‘How do I stay profitable if I offer free shipping?’ some of you may wonder.
Offering free shipping does not need you to sacrifice your profits or take an accommodative stance to gratify your clients. In theory, you include shipping costs in the price of your products.
This method isn’t appropriate for products with low-profit margins. For example, if you give free delivery for $50 with a product worth $10, you’ll have to raise the product’s price to $60 to break even, resulting in lower sales and serious customer trust difficulties.
On the other hand, high-ticket items are ideal for free shipping without conditions. If you provide free shipping worth $50 with a product worth $500 or $1,000, for example, no one will blink.
- Gain a thorough understanding of your profit margins, pricing tactics, and average order value.
Examine your profit margins and pricing methods and compare them to what your competitors are giving to incorporate free delivery profitably. Once you have the corresponding numbers and the shipping costs for the various products, you will have a good sense of how much you can charge without losing money or causing people to be dissatisfied.
Testing conditional free shipping (which encourages customers to meet a minimum purchase threshold) and seeing how your customers react could also provide helpful information. In this case, knowing the average order value is critical. The average buyer, for example, orders $75 worth of merchandise. As a result, if you give customers free delivery on orders of $90 or $100, they will be more inclined to keep adding things to their basket, as 93 percent of shoppers will do so to qualify for free shipping.
- Make your packing solutions more efficient.
Optimize the package if you want to save even more money on delivery. Because weight is a significant factor in deciding shipping costs, shaving a few pounds off your packaging solutions might save you a lot of money in the long run.
Going overboard and compromising the packaging’s integrity, on the other hand, may cause your products to be damaged in transportation. For sensitive objects, the essential practice is to utilize heavy packaging material (such as cardboard and styrofoam). Use lightweight packagings like corrugated envelopes, which come in various shapes and sizes, for items like clothing, soft toys, pillows, and other things that aren’t easily damaged.
Another option is to use the carriers’ free packaging, as long as it provides adequate protection.
- Provide flat fees
Flat rate shipping eliminates the need to weigh shipments, calculate distances, and calculate delivery times, making the process more straightforward for you and your customers. However, this method may necessitate a little more planning than the others we’ve discussed thus far.
To begin, figure out the typical cost of sending a package. Then, make sure you’re not severely undercharging or overcharging your customers. After reaching that magic figure, the prices will be slightly under or over within acceptable margins. Don’t worry; any deficiencies (if any) will be corrected as you progress.
On the one hand, flat cost delivery encourages large orders, as small orders may not provide enough value. On the other hand, it may deter minor charges, resulting in abandonment. As a result, determining whether a flat rate works for your company is critical, depending on your customers’ buying habits and the things you sell.
- Think of offering table pricing.
Table rates are conditional prices that are customized based on sizes and weights, the number of products purchased, destinations, order totals, and other factors. This strategy is ideal for companies that sell a wide range of items over a big geographic area, both locally and internationally.
Here are a few instances that may assist you in getting back on track:
- Free shipping is available on orders of $200 or more.
- Ship things weighing less than 10 pounds for $15.
- Offer $50 shipping for items weighing more than 10 pounds.
- If the destination is close (within a certain radius), charge a flat rate of $10 for shipping.
Because they’re so customizable, your imagination will determine how well you execute table rates and entice clients to buy more. Making the pricing complex and challenging, on the other hand, may turn off clients and jeopardize sales.
- Display real-time rates
This method allows you to provide real-time shipping quotes based on the exact pricing charged by the carriers. Weights, sizes, distances, and shipping times all affect the price. One of the benefits is that you can charge whatever price you want for the products. Setting competitive prices will help you get a competitive advantage.
On the other hand, your shipping expenses will not fluctuate as long as the carriers’ rates remain constant. Customers will be more trusting of you if they compare pricing in real-time. As a result, you will not only be giving a fantastic value, but you will also be improving the client experience.
When clients have various options with varied pricing, they may choose the less expensive ones, reducing the requirement for free shipping. Customers are also given a sense of empowerment when making a key decision during the purchasing process.
- Talk to potential carriers about your prices.
Although you can negotiate pricing with potential carriers for any products in your store, this strategy is best for huge and heavy items that you can’t or don’t want to send for free.
Shipping expenses for large items can quickly mount up. Customers may jump to a competitor without hesitation if the cost surpasses the tolerable limit. In such instances, it’s a good idea to shop around for rates and pick the ones that offer the best value and savings.
- Experiment with different shipping alternatives.
Because every organization operates under distinct factors, it’s pretty acceptable if standalone plans don’t produce the desired results. In such cases, using different strategies to find the ideal fit for your company is necessary.
Best practices in shipping strategy
Here are some more considerations to make while developing a successful shipping strategy.
Regardless of which technique you use, the fees must be shown at checkout. Any ambiguity could call into question your credibility, making it more challenging to gain consumers.
It’s also critical to be upfront about the estimated delivery date. Customers will be less likely to make repeat purchases if you overstate durations and cannot meet them.
It’s also a good idea to keep clients informed about the status of shipments in real-time. Customers will feel more at ease if they receive email confirmations once each step is completed.
Respond to consumer inquiries as soon as possible. In this context, facilitating a two-way communication channel between the carrier and the client may benefit.
To summarize, free shipping is ideal when the costs can be successfully integrated into the price of your products without putting you at a competitive disadvantage. If the weight and dimensions of your products are similar, flat rate shipping will work best (with slight variation).
Table rate shipping will provide you adequate flexibility to establish your prices if you sell a wide selection of products. If you don’t want your clients or yourself to be burdened by intricate calculations, you should use live rates.
Finally, if everything else fails, experiment with different combinations. You may select the ideal delivery rate for your online store by going through a thorough trial and error procedure.