Shipping and fulfillment can be the trickiest part of operating an online business that sells products. Obtaining products and selling them at a competitive price is complicated when you add in shopping costs. In addition, shipping rates and time frames for delivery can change the way that customers view your business.
There is a reason that Amazon Prime has attracted such a high level of consumers because the promise of free quick shipping is enough to win the attention of a generation defined by the concept of instant gratification. If you sell a product to consumers, then you are competing against many giants that can absorb the total costs of shipping easily, making it harder to win the attention of a price savvy comparison based shopper.
According to Incify.co, 54% of US consumers under the age of 25 stated that same-day shipping is the number one driver of their purchasing behavior. In other words, over half of your potential customer base is likely looking at your delivery time before deciding to finish their purchase. If you can’t offer them impressive delivery times, they will abandon their shopping cart and you will lose the sale. So how do you increase your conversion rates?
Utilize Shipping Hacks to Increase Conversion Rates
Obviously, with this information in mind, the best way to increase conversion rates and see your amount of completed checkouts rise is by offering better shipping rates and/or expedited deliveries. However, if you don’t have a massive budget or a large number of sales to help offset shipping fulfillment costs, completely absorbing the shipping costs may be out of your reach. The good news is that there are hacks that can help you reduce your shipping costs overall to help offset how much you need to absorb to offer customers superb delivery service.
Offer Free Shipping via Discount Codes or With Minimum Orders
As addressed earlier, free shipping is never truly free, but it is an attractive offer that can help you reduce your shopping cart abandonment rates. As a business, you may not be able to offer free shipping on a regular basis but offering free shipping codes on an occasional basis can be a great way to attract new and old customers back to your website.
It also can be an enticing way to increase followers or subscribers on social media networks. Thus, you win on several levels by offering occasional free shipping codes. More importantly, once a customer completes one order they are more likely to come back to make another one and be more willing to pay to ship a product they already know they like the second time.
Offering free shipping after a minimum shopping value is reached is another great way to offset shipping costs since you can combine shipping on items reducing your costs while increasing the profit from the sale. Many consumers will add more items to their cart than they originally planned on purchasing just to secure free shipping. Thus, you can increase the average profit you make from each sale.
Pack Small and Use Shipping Labels
Interestingly enough, the dimensions of your packing products can impact the amount you are paying for shipping. Believe it or not, a large oversized pillow can cost more to ship than a dumbbell even though there is obviously a weight difference. This is because many private carriers like FedEx and UPS calculate their shipping rates based on dimensional weight. What does this mean for you?
It means if you want to reduce your overall shipping costs so you can offer more attractive shipping weights to customers you have to become efficient at packing your products into the smallest packing possible. Don’t use a large box packed with shipping materials to ship a small item. Padded mailers are great ways to shrink packaging materials and measure considerably less. It also allows you to skip the costs of filler materials. In other words, skip the box any time you can.
Another hack is to use shipping labels like the one offered by Zebra, Dymo, however those labels can add up to the cost, even more, if you buy them directly from the printer manufacturers, another hack is to use compatible shipping labels with those printers, you can get them at low cost from Enkoprodcts.com and it offered with free expedited shipping. Barcode labels help you in tracking your products and reduce marginal cost by reducing the errors, One of my favorites Dymo printers is the LabelWriter 450, are the most recommendable for printing barcode labels.
Take a Second Look at USPS
Businesses tend to gravitate towards FedEx and UPS because they appear to have a more professional and immediately recognizable image in the shipping world. However, that name comes with a cost. USPS has become much more efficient and trustworthy within the world of shipping, and they offer the best rates for light shipping.
Almost all shipping experts will tell small business owners to use USPS to ship their products because they offer the cheapest rates for products that weigh less than 13 ounces. For small and mid-volume shippers, there is no better price point to work at, and it can help reduce the costs of shipping substantially if you rely on USPS for a large number of shipments over any of the private options.
woman receiving package -DepositPhotos