SiteSuite - Website Design Sydney

Free Shipping - Delivering Good Service

by Paul Davenport | June 25, 2010

It’s surprising how many customers come to see me wishing to build an ecommerce website but don’t actually shop online themselves. I always like to ask customers if they have considered free shipping and they don’t always realise what a powerful business tool it can be. I for one do shop online and I have to say that I never forget a site that offers free shipping. Is it something that you have considered for your business? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of offering free shipping: 

Free shipping is a marketing strategy

By advertising free shipping on your website you are using it as a marketing tool. Customers will return again and the word will get around, it’s surprising what an impact this can have. Treat the cost of freight as a marketing expense and a cost effective one at that!

Build shipping into your pricing 

Does it really need to cost you? Even if you just cover some of the cost within your prices, or only build freight into high demand items.

Offer free standard shipping and charge for express post

Give your customers the choice. If you offer standard shipping for free what’s wrong with charging for a premium service? After all it’s the thought that counts!

Advertise free shipping as a Promo Code on your home page

Use SiteSuite’s Promotional Discount Code module to create a Promo Code for free shipping. Highlight the code on your home page so customers see it when they first arrive. What an incentive to stick around!
Only charge on certain items

So you want to offer free shipping but there are a few lines that you just can’t afford to give it away? That’s ok, with your SiteSuite CMS, you can override your shipping at product level and set a unique freight cost for that item. So if you're shipping an elephant to Timbuktu, that’s OK, we understand!
What about returns?

If you’re going to run a successful online store then shopping online should be as easy as shopping in-store. In a perfect world, returns would be free. However, it is understandable that we can’t all afford to offer unlimited returns on all items, but you can counter that with an effective returns policy. Make it easy for customers to exchange items and be courteous and sharp on your delivery and communications.
Bricks and mortar

Let’s face it, in comparison to running a bricks and mortar store, an online store enjoys a low cost bottom line. Why not make free shipping as part of your business model and consider it in the same light as you'd consider rent, consultants and utility bills?

With all that in mind, if you have considered free shipping and it is just not practical for your business, be sure to know that SiteSuite can integrate your freight charges into your website and display it at checkout, in the order confirmation email and in your fulfilment area for a seamless check out process.

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