I would estimate that more than half of our users offer free shipping, at least for orders over a certain amount. In most cases, it's a way for them to gain a marketing advantage over their competitors and attract some extra sales. In others, they have no choice but to offer free shipping because that's the competing standard in their sales niche.
If your profit margins are reasonable, than free shipping doesn't have to break the bank. Be sure to specify in your shipping policy that your free shipping offer only applies to local sales, and that international customers will have to pay a fair amount. Also, be sure that you aren't overpaying for your postage. Compare the rate you're paying with what other shipping services and software (like ours) can offer you to see if you can cut costs by switching over.
I think it depends on the price of the item you are selling. Our products are $500+ so we offer free shipping wihin the U.S. I think people feel nickle and dimed if you charged for shipping for an expensive item.
However, if someone wants something overnight or guaranteed two day delivery, we use FedEx and the customer pays for it.
We do free shipping over $50 for all orders and over $10 for newsletter subscribers (they have a promo code). One of our big sales objectives for this quarter is getting more newsletter subscribers, so we want to incentivize that.
We're a handmade soap company, so our dollar values are pretty tiny ($8). It wouldn't make sense for us to offer free shipping, since even first class postage is $2.50.
People do still wish they had free shipping, though. I get a lot of people saying that was a deal breaker for them... but we just can't offer it for single-bar purchases.
Danielle could you afford free shipping on 2 bars?
If so for me personally if I was going to buy 1 bar and saw if I bought another one it would be FREE shipping I would go ahead and get 2.
I have read exactly what you just said. That having to pay for shipping is a deal breaker. I am wrestling with this myself.
I haven't yet launched my website and have been waivering on free shipping over a certain amount. The problem that I have is I have products that are all different weights, sizes, etc. I could see bulky items excluded but what about the items that are not large just heavy? (My store is a pet boutique so I have everything from clothing, beds, carriers, to bulky pet gear.. Houses which I would exclude). Any input is appreciated.
Been selling our designer heels with free international shipping. Its quite a hit, but one you have to take when starting a new brand. Anyone have any other ideas of incentives that can be offered to save some money but build customer trust?
This is our shipping policy:
All orders ship next business day. Our standard Free Shipping method is USPS First Class Mail for small orders -- up to approximately 48) 8.5" X 11" targets. Normal delivery is 1-3 days.
All other orders will ship Free by USPS Media Mail. Normal delivery is 3-8 days depending on your distance from Titusville, Florida and USPS shippng mandates.
If you require the order quicker, please choose our USPS Priority Mail shipping method. Normal delivery is 1-3 days. A Flat Rate of $3.95 will apply, regardless of order size.
This tells them up front that shipping is free. They have the ability to choose Priority during checkout. Rarely does that happen. Nothing will drop a cart faster than shipping cost that the BUYER THINKS are out of line.
Our website order minimum is $10.00. We can not afford to process an order for less. We only ship to US addresses. Even a miminum non-discounted order nets a profit of 45%. Orders of $100.00 or more net out at 70% to 80%. Cut those numbers in half for wholesale or by the % of the sale offered.
We can offer free shipping and still run great sales as we have running now and stay competitive with our compitition but we sell targets no one else has to sell. People love free shipping - it's just that simple.
The short version - price your products for free shipping. It works. Sellers on ebay learned that years ago.