Free shipping is often one of the most popular terms one hears online. This is eCommerce’s favorite marketing strategy as well. In other words, providing free shipping means increasing the sale opportunities for your business. But most businesses still wonder how to offer free shopping to their customers?
Don’t worry, if you can’t figure that out by yourself! We’ve got everything you need to know about free shipping.
You might have repeatedly seen free shipping options everywhere on the internet. Whenever you might have wanted to purchase something, free shipping must have drawn your attention. And even though you didn’t want to, you must have clicked the website or banner shouting ‘Free Shipping’. Ever wondered why?
That is because it is the internet’s most hyped term. When it comes to eCommerce, there is nothing more than free shipping that customers absolutely love. It draws immediate attention and makes customers take a look at the website and products around the campaign.
But as an eCommerce seller, it is wise to wonder whether free shipping is something that will suit your business. No doubt that it is the buzzword in the digital world. But, you can’t just go ahead and provide free shipping to your customers. You have to calculate your costs, opt for a courier and keep a check on your profits. If you’re overburdened by free shipping, you need to always go through with it.
Then, what is it that you can do? How to offer free shipping to your customers after all? You need not worry about all of this. Read on to find out the answers to the most pressing queries around free shipping!
What is the Concept of Free Shipping?
Free shipping refers to the process of waiving off the shipping charges when a customer purchases a product. In other words, the cost of eCommerce comes in terms of shipping. Since the customer doesn’t take the order from the retails store, it needs to be shipped to their doorsteps. This is where the cost of shipping comes into the picture.
Let’s through the process of eCommerce once again-
eCommerce begins with online orders. As a store, you lost your products online and advertise them to your customers. At the same time, you partner with suppliers and other business entities that ensure the smooth going of your online business.
Once you build your store or register on an eCommerce marketplace, you list your products. Then you go onto adding prices to these products and create offers to lure the customers. Then you invest in the marketing strategies and make your brand known to the customers.
Once that happens, your customers start coming to your website. If you’re investing in paid ads, your customers might come from Google and other popular sources.
The Process of Ecommerce and Free Shipping
Your customers land on your website and start browning your products. Now it is imperative to understand that your customer might be anywhere. This obviously depends on the areas that you’re targeting. But, this means that your customer could be sitting anywhere from Delhi to Chandigarh, Kerala, and beyond. This is what happens when you ship with a logistics platform like Dash101 that helps you ship to 26000+ pin codes.
So, your customer from anywhere is browning your products. They like something and go on placing the order. Everything until now sounds good, the customer is ready to checkout with the product in their cart. So, where is this issue?
The issue comes in delivery costs. Since your customer is literally at any location in the country, you have to deliver the product to their doorsteps. You must already know the deal behind eCommerce. So, as a business, you are selling the products, and it becomes your responsibility to deliver these. You will have to tie up with a courier company to do so.
But, all of this will involve a cost. And this will depend on the location of your business. Even though you are in an eCommerce form of business, ultimately you are selling physical goods, this means you will have a warehouse somewhere. Alternatively, if you are dropshipping, it’s a slightly different case. We’ll come to that later.
Is offering free shipping a good idea?
By offering free Shipping, retailers can build the normal request worth and cause clients to feel like they are getting a decent arrangement. For this to be powerful, the base sum spent to meet all requirements with the expectation of complimentary delivery ought to be bigger than your normal request size. Visit the Dash101 website to Know More!
Free Shipping: Bearing the Costs of Shipping
The location of your warehouse and the location of your customer plays the key role in determining your shipping costs. So, let’s say that your warehouse is in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk and your customer orders from Kerala, it might appear a little cumbersome for you. Your shopping costs from Chandni Chowk to Kerala will obviously be greater than if your warehouse was in Kerala or a nearby state.
But, nonetheless, it depends on the comfort and establishment of your business. Either way, you will have to endure the shipping costs associated with the product. If you did not choose your shipping partner wisely, these costs might cost you a fortune. Even though it also depends on what you’re shipping and the weight of the package. But, it is always advised to ship with an affordable courier partner.
Now, there are two ways to go about this- either you ask your customer to pay for the shipping costs or bear them. The latter is what is known as free shipping. When you bear the costs of the order delivery form your pickup location to your customer’s delivery address, it is known as free shipping.
In case you are dropshipping, it will be your supplier who will cater to the customer;s demands, they will be responsible for picking, packing and shipping the products. When offering free shipping, you have to reimburse your supplier with shipping costs.
However, free shipping is not always as free as it seems. It might sound confusing right now, but don’t worry. The next section will clear this up.
How do Companies Offer Free Shipping to Their Customers?
Even though companies claim to offer free shipping to their customers, it is often campus; aged in one strategy or the other. There is nothing illegal about these. It’s just being smart about your business and telling the customer what they want to hear. Here’s what some companies do-
Set an Order Threshold
You might have landed on a company’s website just by being lured with their free shipping banner. But when you did, you saw the message that said, free shipping on orders above XX value. We often miss the asterisk in the excitement of free shipping. This strategy is one of the most popular ones adopted by the online business world.
It means that you will be awarded with free shipping if you shop for a threshold value form the brand. So, the next question is how does this help the brand after all? Simple! When sellers ask you to shop for a threshold value for free shipping, they simply absorb the cost of shipping by raising your average order value. This means as you’re buying from them, their overall profits are sufficient to cover the costs of shipping. And when customers find this, they are obviously pushed to shop more from the brand.
Partner with a Low Cost Courier Service
This is a must, regardless of whether you’re providing free shipping or not. All eCommerce companies must partner with low costs of shipping platforms, even though some platforms seem very po[ular, they often provide a failed customer service. So, opt for a reliable logistics platform, preferably the one that lets you ship with multiple courier partners. Dash101 is one such platform that helps you ship with 8+ courier partners at the lowest fares starting Rs 23/500 grams.
Limited Period Free Shipping
Another popular strategy adopted by ecommerce sellers is limited period free shipping. So, let’s say that you send your customers an email that says, free shipping exclusively for you for the next 3 hours! This creates a sense of urgency. And this also draws the customers towards the website. In other words, when you set a timer to your marketing message, it sends a message or urgency and subliminally asks the customer to take an action quickly.
Free Shipping Memberships
Another popular tactic is to lure your customers with free shipping memberships. Also sometimes referred to as SaaS plans, this means that the seller charges you a sum of money. This money grants you a special status on your website such as an elite customer. With your providelge you get a free shipping option. Amazon’s Prime plan is one of the biggest examples in this category. so , once a customer is amember on your website, they can shop anything anytime without having to worry about the shipping costs.
Including Shipping Costs in the Product Cost
Many brands also add shipping costs in their product costs. This means, instead of saying at the time of checkout that the product costs for Rs X plus Rs 50 of shipping, you blend both of these together. In other words, depending on a customer’s location you show them a definite product cost that includes shipping fee. For this to take place you must have a flat rate shipping policy. Or tie up with a courier that allows this.
What is the Role of Courier Services in Offering Free Shipping?
Courier services can help you offer free shipping. Make sure you tie with a low cost courier company, it is always advisable to tie up with a logistics platform such as Dash101 for maximum benefits at closest costs. Get to ship to 26000+ pin codes in India at fares starting Rs 23/500 grams. So, if your shipping costs are already low, there’s nothing that will stop you from providing your customers with free shipping.
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