For savvy online shoppers, finding “free shipping” is like discovering buried treasure. But can shipping really be free? Someone has to pay that shipping charge, and if you’re experimenting with the phrase “free shipping” in your marketing plan, that someone is bound to be you.

Still, it’s an enticing strategy. ComScore reports that 72 percent of online shoppers prefer free shipping.

For small merchant, the unfortunate truth is that free shipping can put a heavy burden on your profit margins. Unfortunately, if you change your product price to reflect that additional shipping fee, you’ll could drive smart shoppers, aka comparison shoppers, away from your store. BUT The Wharton Report finds that a handful of shoppers, about 30%, will pay more for a product if free shipping is included.

So what’s the best way to incorporate free shipping? If you can afford it, a short-term promotion to current customers or a “free shipping” coupon code posted on coupon websites is a great way to drive more traffic and convert more sales.

Another way you can incorporate free shipping into your sales process is to develop complementary shipping strategies for large orders. Again, this is simply a process of weighing your profit margins and how free shipping on large orders affects your rate of returning shoppers.

The big stores will always be able to offer free shipping. Remember that there are benefits to buying through a small-to-medium size shop for the customer; you can always tout those benefits in your marketing to beat out big-store competition.

To learn how to offer free sipping with 3dcart read our blog post here:

 

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