Different Types of Shipping Offers

If you find your ecommerce sales dragging, a shipping promotion is a tried and true way to get your products moving again. To come up with a shipping promotion that works for your situation, you should consider the makeup of your customer base and logistics of your company. To help you come up with a great promotion, here are the three major types of shipping deals you could offer.

Unconditional Free Shipping

In an ideal world, you could ship all of your products for free, all of the time. Unfortunately, this isn’t feasible for most ecommerce sites. If the margins on your products are high enough to support unconditional free shipping, then you need to make sure that free shipping is one of your major selling points. Read our post on how to make the most of your free shipping offers.

Promotional Free Shipping

When your sales are in a slump, a limited-time free shipping offer can turn things around. One useful twist on promotional free shipping is to limit the offer to only certain products. A strategy like that can help you recoup the cost of shipping (by limiting the offer to expensive items) or move old inventory.

Conditional Free/Discount Shipping

This type of shipping offer is always available, but only when certain conditions are met. There are lots of ideas and options to choose from that can be classified as conditional free shipping:

  • Order Minimums: Customers can get free shipping on large enough purchases. More often than not, users will add items to their cart just to qualify for these types of promotions. Amazon.com’s famous “free shipping on orders more than $35” is a great example.
  • Loyalty: Free shipping for customers who make their first purchase, sign up for marketing emails, or refer friends is a great way to close the initial sale, while increasing the chance of repeat purchases.
  • Flat-Rate: It may not be as enticing as free shipping, but flat-rate shipping is dead simple. No matter the order size, the shipping rate is always the same. Customers will often abandon their carts if shipping costs are hidden until the end of the checkout process, so this shipping offer has the benefit of possibly reducing cart abandonment. It can make things easier for you too – since you always know what the shipping costs will be, you have the knowledge you need to offset shipping costs through product pricing or other means.
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