Consumers are spoiled. They are now shopping from the comforts of their home, with the products delivered right on their doorsteps. The convenience and speed of e-commerce have made it one of the most popular shopping options today
But while e-commerce allows consumers to spend because of its ease, there’s one deterrent that’s making people abandon their carts on checkout: shipping. No one wants to pay more than $5 for shipping, and that’s causing retailers to lose money.
As a result, more and more e-commerce platforms are offering free shipping. While to Amazon or Walmart, this may not be an issue. To small businesses, it can be a huge expense.
But that doesn’t mean small businesses can’t offer free shipping. Here are six ways to reduce the cost of free shipping for small businesses:
Offer Free Shipping on Orders Over a Certain Amount
This is the most common way to reduce the cost of free shipping. If you set a minimum order value for free shipping, you’re essentially making the customer buy more items and, in turn, increase your overall revenue.
This is what most online retailers do. It’s a way to level off the cost of shipping.
It’s a win-win for both the customer and the retailer. The customer gets free shipping, and the retailer makes more money from the sale.
Negotiate a Lower Shipping Rate with Carriers
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many small businesses don’t bother to negotiate a lower shipping rate with carriers. This can be done by contacting the carrier’s sales department or visiting their website and selecting the “business solutions” tab.
Use a Fulfillment Center
If you’re not able to negotiate a lower shipping rate, using a fulfillment center may be a more affordable option. This is especially true for small businesses that don’t have the volume to get a lower shipping rate.
Fulfillment centers offer a variety of services, such as order fulfillment, kitting, and even returns processing. They will also take care of packaging and shipping your products to your customers. This can be a great option for small businesses that want to offer free shipping, but don’t want the hassle of handling shipping themselves.
Ship Your Products in Bulk
Another way to reduce shipping costs is to ship your products in bulk. This means that you’ll need to have a larger storage area. You will have to pay for the facility and all the equipment that will be used within it, including a digital floor scale, shipping software, and shipping labels.
But if you have the space and the volume, this can be a great way to reduce your shipping costs. You can either do this yourself or work with a fulfillment center to do it for you.
Shipping products in bulk also allows you to take advantage of shipping discounts. Most carriers offer discounts for businesses that ship large quantities of products.
Create a Members-Only Free Shipping
If you want to offer free shipping, but don’t want to offer it to everyone, you can create a members-only free shipping promo. This is a great way to reward your loyal customers and entice new customers to purchase from you.
You can choose to only offer free shipping to a selected number of people, maybe those who frequently make a purchase from your store or those willing to shell out a small amount per year to become a member. It encourages customers to buy more and become loyal to your business.
The last option is to raise prices. This may not be the most popular option, but it’s a way to offset the cost of free shipping.
By raising your prices, you’re essentially making up for the cost of shipping. You can either do this by raising the price of each item or by raising the price of the entire purchase.
Raising prices is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You need to consider how it will affect your business and whether your customers will be willing to pay more for your products.
Many customers may be turned off from buying products if the prices are too high. But if you can find a way to raise your prices without alienating your customers, it may be a more affordable option for offering free shipping. An incremental increase in price can be a way to make it more palatable.
Free shipping is a great incentive for customers to make a purchase, but it can also be costly for small businesses. Here are five ways to reduce the cost of free shipping for small businesses.