One reason many people steer clear from shopping online is because of shipping costs. They’d rather drive to the local Target or Mall. A lot of the time, your store’s visitors are people browsing for prices on the products they want to buy. A really great way to compete with other online stores and also local merchants is by offering free shipping.
The Power of Free…Shipping
Free Shipping will keep your customers from just using your online store as a comparison site. They’ll see that ordering from you will cost the same as it would if they drove to the store. Like we mentioned in our Why People Choose NOT to Shop Online 53% of online shoppers dislike the idea of spending their money on shipping & handling.
How do we use this dislike of shipping & handling to our advantage?
You could offer free shipping for all your items, but that’s not very practical for small orders and where your profit margin cannot really afford to eat shipping costs. A way to still compete with those offering free shipping and to increase your order totals is to do as Amazon does and offer free shipping once an order total is achieved. Not only are you standing up against local competitors, but you’ve found a way to convince your customers that they should spend more money on you. The customer will feel that they aren’t paying for shipping but essentially to you, they did buy purchasing another product.
Make sure you make it clear that you’re running the promotion
You need to do more than just offer free shipping at $X order total. You need to let the customers know that they need to spend a certain amount to qualify. A great way to do this is by displaying the promotion in a prominent page. Some people like to put it on their homepage (like our client All Sarongs), and others prefer to just include in the header (Suburban Dog House) so that customers can see it on every page.
Be Proactive: Let them know how much more they need to spend to be eligible for free shipping
Like Amazon, if you’re going to offer free shipping after they have an order total at a certain point, you should remind your customer that they could qualify for free shipping if they spent X amount. It probes them to think “I could save myself some money here. I could get another item and not pay for shipping.” And that’s a great thought to put into your customers mind.
Just remember, doing little things to convince your customer more will bring you more success on your online endeavors.
What other ways do you think convince you or your customers to spend more on an online store? Do you agree with these practices? Or do you ignore them when you see them? I’d be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments.