Hook More Customers by Offering Free Shipping for Purchases Made on Your eCommerce Website

Businesses that choose to sell their products online are able to do so through numerous channels; a company web store, marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, and through resellers. Just as businesses have these many channels to sell through, consumers have access to even more channels for shopping. Not only do they have access to the numerous channels one business may choose to use, but they also have access to all businesses in that vertical and the channels those competitors use.

Today’s consumer is savvy and equipped with many devices allowing them to access the Internet anywhere at any time. Today’s consumers shops around for bargains in store and online. Brand loyalty, while still relevant, may not win against better pricing, or with online shopping, against paid versus free shipping.

Harris Interactive conducted a survey from June 11 – 16, 2014 that included 2,241 adults and found that 66 percent of respondents listed shipping costs as a top annoyance associated with online shopping. The second largest annoyance, as stated by 38 percent of respondents, was getting an item that wasn’t as pictured online.

When it comes to in-store versus online purchases, 81 percent of respondents said they were more likely to choose online if free shipping were offered and 70 percent if free return shipping, if needed, were provided.

One argument brick-and-mortar businesses pitch is the gratification of having the product immediately after purchasing it. Even though many respondents were bothered by shipping costs, in order to receive an online purchase quicker, 22 percent were willing to pay for overnight or same-day deliveries. More specifically, 15 percent would pay for overnight shipping and 14 percent would pay for same-day shipping in order to receive their purchases more instantaneously.

Another survey conduct by UPS, comScore and the e-tailing group completed in March 2014, found that 60 percent of consumers abandoned their shopping carts due to shipping costs that weren’t displayed upfront, leading to a total cost that was higher than they expected.

Shipping costs matter. Don’t lose out on sales due to high shipping costs. Consider offering free shipping on orders amounting specified totals and/or free return shipping. Or, if it fits your business model, just omit shipping costs completely. Learn about shipping options k-eCommerce offers on our website.

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