As an online retailer, you understand shipping is about much more than getting parcels from A to B. Not only is shipping the backbone of your online business, it also plays a crucial role in your customer experience. Second to the cost of goods and services, shipping does come at a tremendous expense for business of all sizes. With big players setting the benchmark for fast and free shipping, online retailers can struggle to turn shipping from a cost into a profit driver.
While shipping is a cost, it’s also an opportunity and online retailers that make this semantic shift can turn their deliveries into a profit driver. Here are 4 shipping strategies to help you implement smarter shipping policies.
Charging for Urgent Deliveries
According to recent research, 49% of online consumers are willing to pay for same-day shipping. While free standard delivery is commonplace, services that charge a premium for speedy delivery, like Uber Eats and Amazon Prime, prove consumers have an appetite to pay a premium to get what they want, when they want.
The harsh reality is – checkouts that don’t offer options are more likely to be abandoned. When it comes to shipping, consumers want choice, and they’re happy to pay for it. Charging a premium for same-day shipping gives your customers the choice they want and your business an opportunity to recover costs and turn freight into a profit driver.
The key to cost recovery comes down to making strategic choices and choosing the right mix of carriers.
Free Shipping for Larger Baskets
Nothing screams ‘Buy Me’ like free shipping. Thresholds on high-value baskets can be a great way to increase your average order value and work towards cost recovery.
Offering free shipping for larger baskets not only helps you drive revenue, but it can also help recover your shipping costs via increased revenue. Ultimately, your customers are looking for convenience and value; from their perspective, their needs to be a compelling reason not to go into the store to collect their items asap. This is where free shipping thresholds give potential customers the incentive they’re looking for.
Transparent Shipping Information
No one likes being left in the dark; research shows, when it comes to shipping, customers need transparency. For most consumers, shipping is a make or break factor, which is where your shipping and delivery policies come into play. In the early days of eCommerce, freight wasn’t as much of a deal breaker as it is today and shipping policies rarely got a look-in. These days, it’s an entirely different story, with savvy online retailers showcasing their shipping policies. A shipping policy should outline your standard delivery timeframes, return policies, carrier choices and shipping costs, as well as any return policies. This is ultimately your opportunity to educate your customers on their options, set clear expectations for delivery and give them the power to choose from standard free shipping or pay a surcharge for same day or express.
Google analytics will show you how many of your website visitors are searching for and looking through your shipping pages.
In the early days of eCommerce, most online retailers partnered with a single carrier for all their shipping services. These days, it’s an entirely different landscape. With so many options, putting all your shipments in one basket is not the savviest move. Where one carrier may provide excellent value on a Sydney same-day service, another may get your parcels to Perth faster, cheaper and more reliably than other carriers. It’s not just your business that will benefit from choice, research shows, consumers not only want but also demand choice.
The problem for most online retailers is the time and energy spent managing and negotiating with multiple carriers. This is a where a cloud-based shipping platform like Shippit can help. Plugging into Shippit gives online retailers of all sizes and stages access to pre-negotiated pricing and a host of carriers they may not have previously considered. By leveraging the smarts of the platform, online retailers can give their customers some choice at the checkout and give their business a leg-up by taking advantage of more competitive rates and better customer experience.
These days, consumers are setting the bar high when it comes to shipping. It’s crucial for online retailers to understand not all shipping needs to be free. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for fast delivery. With competition heating up, online retailers need to start taking smart steps to turn shipping into a profit driver.
Click here to find out more about how Shippit can help you make smarter shipping choices.