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Free. That’s usually enough to get a shopper’s attention. Add shipping right after that word and you’ll have them listening.
Free shipping can get you those much-needed sales for your store. But it’s not something you just shout at a customer and get their money. It has to be done right. You also have to support it with the right extras. A theme with features that make buying easier is a must.
Get yourself Debutify, the highest converting free Shopify theme. Master this step-by-step guide on how to use free shipping effectively for eCommerce:
Set A Clear Goal
Ecommerce success?! That’s a bit too broad. Narrow it down to something you can always return to when measuring wins. More sales per shopper. It can be that simple. Or even simpler, more customers.
Down the road, you’ll see some shoppers take the offer of free shipping. It may not cost you much. That doesn’t mean that it’s working. You need this goal, and it should be one you can present in numbers.
Choose A Type
Don’t just tell shoppers that you’ll get their purchases to them at no charge. When you set out to use free shipping to increase eCommerce sales, pick a kind to offer. Here are some types:
- Free shipping on anything
- Free shipping on orders above a certain total
- Free shipping on a particular product
- Free shipping on club or community members (for example, Amazon Prime)
- Products sent to physical stores
- Free shipping during a specific time interval
The type you choose houses the main conditions for free shipping. Align it with your goal. Remember that you can play around with these terms. Create a custom type that serves your business.
These types may include free shipping for; returned goods, in particular seasons and locations. Consider free shipping as part of loyalty programs. It can help you keep customers supporting longer.
Run The Numbers
Free shipping isn’t totally free. Someone has to pay for it. That’s you. Or maybe not. It all depends on how you work around the numbers so get your mathematics right. Know the key figures that change when you’re shipping purchases for free.
They include Average order value – this is what a shopper roughly spends on each purchase. It’s the total revenue divided by the number of orders. Conversion rate – the percentage of store visitors that actually buy. Gross margins – the money made on every product sold.
Get this by subtracting your cost of production and shipping from your online store price. Pick a set of customers. Offer them free shipping. Compare the results to another group that is paying for their shipping. The aim is to know how much your profit changes.
Get Your Timing Right
The point at which a customer finds out about your free shipping is very important. The customer goes through many stages before buying. To let them know at any stage may get you a reaction. But not necessarily a sale. A free shipping offer displayed at checkout can be really effective. It’s that bonus.
The cherry on top of the cake that seals the deal. When you offer free shipping in an ad, all you’ve done is to let people know. If it’s displayed on your homepage, a shopper still has to pick a product. The sale is still absent.
Introduce free shipping when the customer has selected what they are going to buy. To be more sure about converting, have a theme that makes checkout smooth. Click here to get the free Debutify theme and turn that offer into a sale.
Hide It In The Price
Like we said before, someone has to pay for the free shipping. This one is more of a trick. Especially when free shipping costs you too much.
Change the price of a product by adding the shipping cost. Put the label “free shipping” next to it. Keep this mainly for products that are rare or unavailable in other stores. This works better for customers that aren’t always looking for the lowest price.
Lower the shipping cost added. This can make your offer more attractive when compared to other stores’ offers.
Limit The Modes Of Transport
Stick to ground shipping. The purpose of this is to keep your shipping costs down. Trucking is slower though. Inform customers about the longer delivery time to avoid disappointment. Add date-certain shipping.
Make the slowest delivery free. Flexibility is another bonus. It is easier to change shipping addresses without having too many delays. You can also benefit from pick-up points. There are more storage options available too. Compare rates.
Select the carriers with the most favorable terms. Here’s a list of possible offers from UPS, FedEx, and USPS.
Have A Minimum Order
Get the amount that a shopper spends on average. Add a percentage. Say 10%. Test it against your profit when free shipping is absent. The figure should stay positive.
Let the shoppers know what the minimum is, to qualify for free shipping. Alert them when they reach it. Encourage them to add more items. Show them their savings at checkout.
Focus On The Product
Here, it’s not just about picking the products you want to sell more of. Group them by their margins. Remove the ones that bring a low profit per unit. Continue to their weight.
Those which are heavier or take up more space can be left out. Those still on the list work better for free shipping. The goal is to put free shipping on products that have a high markup and help you maximize space. High-profit X Many units.
That’s how you control the shipping bill and stay in the money.
Select Favorable Packaging
Use packaging that takes up the least space. Don’t neglect safety. Free shipping is pointless if the items get damaged while being moved. Different carriers will provide free packaging materials. They even deliver. Look through their options and find what suits you.
Use custom packaging to have more control over shipping costs. It is good for branding too. Here’s more on how to pick the right packaging.
Build Some Hype Around It
As we said earlier, free shipping is effective when an item has been selected. Even better at checkout. But you can still tell a story around it before all this.
Create good-looking artwork. Add open statements about some parts of the deal. These are the bait. Share these on social media and other platforms. Don’t forget the video. An example is “Here’s our new lineup. Visit the store to see what comes with free shipping”.
If someone who sees the ad likes one of the products, they may head to the site. Try this statement: “Shop a bunch and save more with our free shipping on bulk orders”. It makes some people want to know how big the order has to be. Lean back. Wait. Shoppers will drop in slowly.
The “Add to Cart” button will be busy soon. Be ready to convert. You need a theme with powerful add-ons that reduce abandoned carts. Download the free Debutify theme to turn as many of those carts into sales.
Some Additional Tips
Here are some other tips for eCommerce stores you can put into action quickly:
- Use prepaid shipping – buy bulk shipping labels in advance to get volume discounts.
- Listen to customer feedback throughout the process.
- Join trade and association groups to get member discounts from their related carriers.
- Try zone skipping to minimize charges for each zone crossed.
Free shipping has three major areas to pay attention to. First is the cost. The second is the customers. Third, the products. With the costs, you have to look at nearly every input. Suppliers.
Service providers for other operations. Consider reusing packaging from inbound orders. Embrace technology. This includes drones and warehouse robots. For the customers, study all the data your website produces. Set conditions that bring particular actions. Build guidance into your store.
Make changes where needed. Try not to get customers addicted to it. They’ll leave once you stop it. And now for the products. Always think about how friendly your new listings are to free shipping and packaging.
Source them cheaply. Keep track of the competitors’ prices. Set final offers that are hard to resist. Once you master all this, there will be an effect on traffic. You’ll see numbers changing in relation to the efforts you’ve been making.
Free shipping is not everything. You need to pay attention to the details of your store. The features must draw shoppers towards taking up the free shipping. Tune-up the prompts. Ease the checkout. Get all this done by selecting the right theme. With the free Debutify theme, you can build a store that achieves all this.
Download it here and get the highest converting Shopify theme today.
Written by Ricky Hayes
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.
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