Everyone loves free shipping. Yes, we are aware. In some cases, not offering free shipping can lead to cart abandonment rates of almost 50%: yikes! But as they say, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, and so-called free shipping itself might turn out to be too costly to offer.
To figure out if you can provide free shipping, you’ll need to consider one of two options to pay for it: you can slightly increase the price of your products to cover the cost of shipping, or you can absorb the cost of shipping. If neither of these options work for you (and they may not), you’ll need to see if you want to offer shipping at a flat rate or calculate it each time an order is placed. The more information you can gather at this point, the better your choice of shipping options will be.
Your shipping partner has control over a lot of things, and we want to focus on two of them: the speed at which your customers receive the product, and the condition that products arrive in. When you’re considering your options, understand that these elements are part of how your customers will perceive your business and your product, even if, technically speaking, these are your shipping partner’s responsibility.
If a carrier routinely delivers damaged packages, or if they have a very high rate of lost and missing items, that’s a potential problem and a big red flag. We recommend reading shipping service reviews from B2B customers as well as from end users, so you’ll get the full picture from both perspectives.
Just like buying real estate, shipping is always going to boil down to your location — you need to consider both the location where your items will ship from, and where you’ll be sending the majority of your orders. Shipping costs always consider distance, so you’ll need to give it some thought, too. Don’t overlook local carrier options: sometimes they can be the best way forward, if the price is right and they fit your requirements.
Remember that if you expect to send items internationally, your shipment partner needs to be able to interface with loads of local carriers from around the world, and you definitely can’t forget about customs or import fees, so double check those or you could wind up paying even more out of pocket.
We hope we’ve helped you get clear on what to look for when you’re picking a shipping partner — but if we haven’t, hit the chat button at the bottom of the page to get in touch with us directly. We’re always happy to help out!