It’s not your brand, your products, or even your customer service that has final say over a sale. No matter what you sell or who your customers are, your business’ shipping policy is one of the most important factors affecting your online sales. If you expect to close more deals and lower your average cart abandonment rate, you need to improve your customer’s shipping experience by providing free or low-cost shipping options.
Customers want free or low-cost shipping: it’s a fact
In 2013, UPS analysed the online customer experience in their report, the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper. Their study showed expensive shipping costs can be a sale killer, citing:
- 85% of online shoppers regularly abandon items in their carts
- Among this number, nearly half of respondents (49%) said they abandoned their carts because shipping costs were too high.
- Another 76% of shoppers expects to see free shipping options at check-out.
Retailers are stuck in a Catch-22 situation
Depending on the type of products you sell and their weight, shipping can be one of the costlier expenses for your business. Offering it for free presents as a challenge to small or medium-sized businesses. That’s because they often have to pay exorbitant shipping fees because they don’t qualify for volume discounts on their own.
If your customer isn’t paying for it, the business is. Many retailers hesitate to eat this cost because it lowers their profit margin significantly. Unfortunately, the alternative threatens their bottom line, too. If the customer has to pay for shipping and it’s too high, they will abandon their carts and shop from a retailer that offers free shipping. It’s a catch 22 situation that leaves many online retailers stumped.
Courier brokers can find shipping savings
As a small business owner, your shipping costs are so high because of the low volume of parcels leaving your store. Luckily, you can tap into volume discounts without having to up your sales by partnering with a shipping and courier broker. Experienced brokers work on behalf of a large network of small businesses.
Due to their size, they can negotiate deeply discounted rates from small parcel and LTL couriers on behalf of their clients. Some, like the folks at netParcel, ship with enough businesses that they can offer significant volume discounts from major shipping couriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL. In some cases, they can save their clients up to 70% on shipping.
Customers appreciate their convenient online platform that integrates with Shopify, Etsy, and other stores easily. To see their rate comparison tool for yourself, visit https://netparcel.com/. With a few clicks of your mouse, you’ll be able to review possible courier options available for your date and destination.
When you work with a shipping and courier broker, shipping costs much less than if you dealt directly with UPS or FedEx. They can reduce the cost of shipping to such a degree that you can let your customers enjoy free shipping without cutting into your profits. Look at your budget carefully. If you’re still hesitant to eat this cost, remember these new shipping options have the potential to drive up sales you would have otherwise lost.
Shipping is an expensive and often taxing element of e-commerce. Though it may be the bane of many online retailers, it also represents a significant opportunity for business owners to win over their customers. As the very last thing your customers experience before they type in their payment, your business’ shipping policy can make or break a sale.
Don’t disappoint your customers by forcing them to cover the full cost of shipping. Speak with shipping and courier brokers to find out how you can lower the cost. When you can tap into volume shipping discounts, you can pass on your savings to your customers and provide free or low-cost shipping that will guarantee a return visit.