Figuring out a solution to this dilemma is a challenge, that’s for sure.
Yet the overall goal is clear.
To plan a shipping strategy that not only reduces abandoned carts, but equally important, cuts into your margins as little as possible.
So, with that in mind, here are some considerations:
Think about offering your customers free shipping
It’s not a bad idea to add some conditions to this offer. For example, you can limit your free shipping to domestic deliveries, minimum orders or number of items.
You’ll also want to plan a shipping strategy with a fallback amount, in case minimums are not met. However, often customers will add to their order so that it qualifies for free shipping.
Simply put, free shipping (even with limitations) provides a marketing punch to your website, gets your customers’ attention, and gives you a leg up on the competition.
Just keep in mind that you’ll either have to absorb the costs yourself—which means less profit, or, instead, slightly increase your product prices to cover shipping costs, but without overpricing.
If you do charge shipping, keep the fees minimal
Some sellers charge customers a flat rate. This works especially well if your products are relatively uniform in size and easy to ship.
You can also pass the actual charges along. In other words, charge what you get charged. And provide documentation to your customers, if necessary.
This strategy allows you to break even. It also, perhaps surprisingly, instills trust in the customer because they’ll know you’re not charging inflated shipping fees.
At the same time, though, customers may find a better deal elsewhere. That’s why it is important for you to keep an eye on your competitors pricing.
Be very clear and upfront with your shipping policies
This means posting your shipping fees and policies where customers can easily read them while shopping.
Otherwise, if you surprise them with fees at the last minute they could have second thoughts. And possibly then abandon their cart altogether.
In short, the way to plan a shipping strategy that stays competitive, yet cost effective, is to regularly review your store’s goals within the framework of industry statistics. And then you can adjust as necessary in order to keep both you and your customers happy!
What are your thoughts on this topic? Please feel free to leave a comment below.
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