Let me say right upfront that it is neither practical nor profitable to offer free shipping on every sale you make. That’s because you can end up losing money if you’re not careful. Having said that, though, there are times when free shipping should be part of an eBay seller’s strategic marketing plan.
Free Shipping Reduces Abandoned Carts
Derek from Evans Distribution Systems points out that a lack of shipping options, particularly free shipping, is often cited as the number-one reason for shopping cart abandonment.
Given that fact, if you are an eBay, Shopify or other online seller that has seen their fair share of abandoned carts, you may want to analyze your shipping strategy.
Free Shipping Drives Up Conversion Rates
But what if you could convert those abandoned shopping carts to sales? Not only that, what if you could increase your incremental sales, too? When a customer knows that the price they see is the price they’ll pay at checkout, you’ve got them. And the sale is as good as made.
Free shipping Promotes Customer Retention
The sources below can help you understand the details of how to plan an effective shipping strategy for your store. You’ll find that you may not always be able to offer free shipping. However, you can still offer options that will be attractive to your customers and keep them coming back.
Derek acknowledges that shipping is an unavoidable factor for any online retailer that sells physical goods. And he adds a word of caution about the unintended consequences of slipshod planning. “Approaching it the wrong way may end up costing you a lot of customers.”
So whether you decide to absorb the shipping costs yourself, or slightly elevate your prices to cover them, is entirely up to you. But you should have a solid strategy based on profit margins and market factors.
Finding the right balance for both you and your customers will surely increase your bottom line, because, in the final analysis, it’s all about offering the best customer experience possible.