How to Successfully Implement Shipping Offers: Part 1

In past posts, we’ve covered the benefits of free shipping promotions and how they can be an easy way to increase business. But, just because free shipping is easy to offer doesn’t mean every ecommerce site has the ability to shoulder the associated costs. Luckily, “free” isn’t the only shipping option you can use to entice customers to complete the checkout process, and absorbing the costs may be easier than you think.

Free or otherwise, shipping options can be a major factor that makes or breaks a sale. According to the 2013 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper, three out of four shoppers add items to their cart in order to qualify for free shipping when the offer presents itself. Additionally, 44% of shoppers abandoned their carts in 2013 prior to checkout for shipping times alone. To keep your ecommerce business on the right side of those numbers, you need to find out what shipping options your customers want. There are several ways you can get this information:

  • Use fulfillment tracking software to monitor and understand cart abandonment trends on your site. Do users leave when they reach the shipping page? Do different shipping promotions on your site reduce cart abandonment better than others?
  • Ask your users directly with polls and surveys to find out which shipping options cause them to leave and which ones make them feel like they’re getting the best deal online. Do they prefer fast shipping, free shipping, or bonus items with shipments?
  • Check on your competition to see if they are drawing your customers away with better shipping options. If so, can you match or outdo them?

Once you find out what your customers like most about shipping offers, it’s time to figure out what types of offers your business is capable of. In our next post, we’ll cover ideas to help you get innovative with your shipping options.

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