This is part two in our new series about Improving your Ecommerce Conversion Rates.  This week, our focus is on shipping. High shipping charges are the number one reason people abandon carts, they are also the reason people still prefer a brick and mortar store.  That being said, did you know that over fifty percent of online retailers offer free shipping?

Offer Free Shipping

I know.  I hear the penny pincher in you saying, "Hey!  That will lower my profits! There's no way we can do that."

But wait.  There are ways to give free shipping while increasing your profits.  All it takes is a little creativity.

You can offer free shipping on all orders over a set amount, like $25 or $50.  This method is built in to most shopping cart systems.  It gives the customer what they want, free shipping, while at the same time giving you what you want, customers who want to spend more money. Studies indicate that shoppers do actually that, when presented with the option. In fact, the orders are usually 30% higher in value.  

Even if you offer the free shipping for customers that spend some set amount, consider offering unconditionally free shipping as a reward.  For example, you could create a single use coupon that offers free shipping for any purchase amount and give it to people that subscribe to your newsletter, or post a review of their purchases on your website.  You might offer a referral reward and give the free shipping coupon when people introduce their friends to your store.  Another idea is to have a "free shipping on your first order" option.  You could even use a point system (many shopping carts have a rewards points system) that rewards frequent shoppers. These methods not only make your customers happy, they help build your business and your ability to market to them later.

Another idea is to do like Amazon does, and offer always free priority shipping to a select group of people.  IE Amazon Prime.  Now I am not saying you need to open an online movie streaming service.  But, you may have read that one of your MOST valuable customers is the one that is active on Social Media and posts about your products.  Why not reward these people with membership in a special club where they have access to free shipping and special offers?  

There are many ways to offer free shipping without breaking the bank, and I hope these few ideas will help get your creative juices going.  But, one last point.  If you still believe you MUST charge shipping, then by all means be upfront about it.  Don't try to sneak it in at the last minute, or you'll just get a bunch of abandoned carts.

If you missed it, you can read part one - The Product Page. 

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