It is nearing the holidays, and you might be noticing the orders rolling in faster and faster. People are eager to get their shopping done—and they’re mainly doing it online. It seems that upon scrolling through the various eCommerce platforms, an increasing number of businesses are offering free shipping, particularly around the holidays. For you, this means a boost in sales and more revenue coming in. This also means more packages going out and thus an increase in shipments. The question is, is this model suitable for your company?
Can your business even afford to offer free shipping? And if you do, is it worth it—will it give you a leg up on your competitors? Free shipping, like it or not, is beautiful to buyers. They see those two words and immediately think, “great deal.” So offering free shipping could undoubtedly help you boost those sales numbers. But how can you financially afford to do this? And what’s more, what are the best strategies for getting the word out that you have switched to free shipping? Keep reading to learn more about how free shipping works and how you might use it to your advantage.
Free Shipping: Tips and Tricks
There are ways of offering shipping and still keeping it cost-effective for your small business. Among the strategies for making free shipping actually work for you are:
• Integrating some of the cost into the price of the product. Now, if all of a sudden all of your products go up in cost at the same time that you happen to be offering free shipping, a discerning shopper is probably going to catch on. Instead, if you have new products coming out, you could incorporate the cost of shipping into these and advertise a promo deal for this new product. You might also consider running specials on certain products without necessarily discounting them as much as you normally would and thereby account for at least some of the shipping cost.
• Sell products in bundles and offer free shipping that way. When you ship in more significant amounts and bulk, you tend to get discounts on your shipping costs. By offering free shipping on bundles of products versus just one, you can take advantage of the discount and pass it on to the customer.
• You can have free shipping events. As we near the holidays, this is a great time to do free shipping specials and events. As in, for a limited time, you can get X, Y, and Z, and shipping is free.
• Base it on profit margin. Look at your best-selling items. How much are you making on those items? If there is some room in the profit margin and you could get away with offering free shipping, then it might be worth it. Your sales would increase and help offset the money spent on shipping.
• Free shipping as a reward. Let’s say you have a membership-based service level. By offering free shipping to members only, you entice people to sign up and thus take advantage of one of the great benefits of membership.
When You Do Decide to Offer Free Shipping…
So you’ve figured out how to offer free shipping. Now the key is to promote this. Let those customers and potential customers know that you have this great offer and convince them to take advantage of it now! How can you best promote your free shipping deal?
1) Get the word out via social media. Leverage all of those social media channels to announce to everyone that you are now offering free shipping. Captions and posts can go a long way toward attracting attention.
2) Pop up notifications when people are on your page. When customers are browsing through your online shop, have a popup notification that informs them of your new free shipping model. This way they can’t miss it.
3) Email marketing. You likely have a list of email subscribers. They’ve subscribed because they want to be kept updated regarding your business goings on. So update them, and be sure to send out an email notification regarding your free shipping promo.
First Union Lending Has You Covered!
If you do decide to go to a free shipping model and need additional capital to institute it, we can help. We offer a variety of fast and flexible business loans for a variety of needs. Call today and let’s get started together!