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How to Offer Free Shipping for Your eCommerce Store

Customers love free shipping. Case in point — over 200 million people currently pay Amazon to get free two-day shipping. Yes, the irony that people pay for free shipping is not lost. 

The point remains that offering free shipping is a great way to entice people to buy from your eCommerce store. People love to get deals, and when they see “Free Shipping!” their eyes light up. The question is how to offer free shipping without it becoming a financial burden on you, the seller. 

Should I Offer Free Shipping?

Yes. And no. It depends on some specific factors. Free shipping might not be possible for your business, or you might get plenty of sales already and have no desire to add free shipping offers to your customers. 

Remember, the question is how to offer free shipping without it becoming a financial burden. If free shipping won’t gain enough sellers to offset the dent in your shipping budget, then it’s not worth it. However, if you crunch the numbers and realize that it will net you greater profits, then yes, it is worth it!

Advantages of Offering Free Shipping

You might have an eCommerce store that’s very similar to another one, offering similar products and services, except that the other one offers free standard shipping and yours doesn’t. 

Well, adding free standard shipping would make you competitive! Many times, free shipping increases a company’s profitability thanks to increased sales, which can happen in both the short and long term.

How to Cover Costs of Offering Free Shipping

If you’re worried about free shipping eating your profits in the short term, there are strategies you can implement to mitigate the costs.

Increase the Price of Products

This approach is an especially useful tactic if you have a great diversity of products and don’t need to raise the prices of all of them. By way of example, let’s say you sell a popular $10 item that requires $2 to ship and a slow-selling $30 item that costs $3 to ship. If you raised the price of the $10 item to $15, you’d cover your shipping costs. 

You can also just add in the shipping cost to the item. A $100 item with $10 shipping would become a $110 item with free shipping. Don’t try to profit on shipping — it rarely works. Be fair with your pricing and just cover the costs as much as possible.

Increase Customer Lifetime Value 

Do you know what people love? Feeling like they’re part of a group, an insider. Customers who get perks and loyalty rewards will stick around and buy more of your products. 

With a smart email marketing campaign, offer subscriptions, discounts, and rewards for making future purchases. For example, if you sell shaving supplies, you know that people will constantly need to replenish those supplies. Turn it into a subscription! Perhaps you can offer free shipping on the first purchase to get them on board.

Increase Average Order Value

Bulk order free shipping makes sense from a seller standpoint because it will be cheaper to send everything to a customer in one big box. 

You’ve seen “Spend another $7.65 to get free shipping!” on website order pages, right? Well, that’s bulk order free shipping in a nutshell! By bundling items, perhaps suggesting commonly paired items, you can encourage customers to exceed a minimum spend threshold and get free shipping.

Create a Promotional Event

How about a free shipping sale? This approach is helpful if you have items you need to move and don’t want to (or can’t) offer a discount on the item itself. Advertise your free shipping sale for a limited time and see if it increases orders. It might convince you to add free standard shipping if it goes well.

Offer Free Economy Shipping

If shipping speed isn’t a priority, you can offer lower-cost shipping. Most carriers have a low-cost option, like the US Post Office’s Parcel Post. It might take a week or more to arrive to the customer, but it costs less to ship the item.

Partner with a Fulfillment Company

Third-party logistics (3PL) companies will have connections to discounted rates and shipping offers with major carriers. If you use a fulfillment company for your orders, they can usually allow you to offer free shipping. 

The increased free/work time and order volume you get from a 3PL partner will more than makeup for the costs you experience on the front end.

Offer Free Shipping to Limited Locations

If there are locations that would carry low shipping costs, it’s a good idea to offer free shipping if it means getting a sale where there wouldn’t have been one otherwise. When you have a $10 item you can ship for a single dollar to specific locations, why not offer free shipping and make the $9?

Don’t forget that local pickup is an option! If your customers don’t mind coming to you, and you don’t mind having them come to your location, let them know that they can swing by and pick up their items. It would also give you some extra facetime with customers and perhaps secure future sales by building a relationship.

Want to Offer Free Shipping Without Having to Offer Free Shipping? Print Bind Ship Is Your Answer!

When you rely on an order fulfillment company like Print Bind Ship to store, package, and deliver your products, you don’t have to fret over whether you can afford to offer free shipping. 

Print Bind Ship takes care of that for you. With Print Bind Ship, you can offer free shipping without prohibitive costs. Make customers happy and get top-notch order fulfillment services; contact us at Print Bind Ship to get your order fulfillment journey started today!

FAQ

How Do I Calculate a Free Shipping Minimum Spend Threshold?

The formula is (Average Shipping Cost/Gross Profit Margin)+Average Order Value.

Is It Worth It to Offer Free Shipping?

It depends on whether free shipping will increase your profits. Not every online seller needs to offer free shipping, and in some cases, it might hurt profits.

Does Offering Free Shipping Increase Sales?

t most likely will increase sales, but it may or may not increase revenue. If the cost of the free shipping is not offset by the sales increase, revenue suffers.