Should you offer free shipping? That is a question that is oftentimes asked when starting an online business. But it may not be a matter of ‘should’ for it may be a question of ‘can.’ Many companies have debated as to whether or not they should offer free shipping. The answer to that would have to be “it depends.” You should know that offering free shipping works for some, but it’s definitely not for everyone. In fact, some companies have gone broke because of free shipping.
If you are still undecided, you probably should consider how important free shipping is to customers and how it affects their purchases. Shipping costs have always been a concern for many shoppers and free shipping can heavily influence shoppers to make a purchase. If you would think about it clearly, offering free shipping can and will definitely ruin your business, unless it has conditions. Free shipping is an effective marketing tool but only if it has reservations. Customers are more likely to make a purchase when you offer free shipping. In fact, they may even purchase more.
Here are some benefits you may be able to enjoy with free shipping.
- Short-Term Gains. Free shipping can automatically boost your sales and thus would lead to more profit and larger orders. There would be increased profitability but you should also know that it may not work on some companies.
- Long-Term Gains. While you may experience increased profitability the same way with short-term gains, you may also be able to experience the benefit of repurchases. Most people would buy only from stores that offer free shipping so you can expect to gather new customers. Along with that, the likeability for repurchases is also high because people would want to return to a trusted merchant.
- Stay Competitive. In every marketplace, it is important to always stay competitive otherwise one might get left behind. Offering free shipping with conditions can help you stay competitive. Unfortunately, it may not be able to help you get ahead as shipping supplies for free can only help you level the field.