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E-commerce: how to best organize your shipments

When checking the cart when shopping online, the item on which the shoppers pay particular attention is undoubtedly the shipping costs. If the user has been attracted by an incredibly competitive price, he could be very disappointed and annoyed if the shipping costs prove to be excessive, under penalty of abandoning the cart in many cases . The user perceives it as an unjust expense, which must affect the final receipt as little as possible.

Why offer free shipping with e-commerce

To offer its customers free shipping of products purchased online is certainly the most effective strategy in order to avoid a high abandonment rate of the shopping cart when completing the order. However, this strategy can lead to a significant reduction in the profit margin of your business. The decision to offer free shipping must be well thought out , it requires the ability to absorb the costs of the service offered.

Another very effective method is to guarantee free shipping to all those who make purchases over a certain amount . This solution is also an incentive to increase the value of your cart.

Of course, the choice of how to amortize shipping costs depends on many factors, one of them is certainly the product category. For example, if your e-commerce operates in the luxury sector, slightly increasing the price of the products should not have serious consequences. However, it is different if you are in a highly competitive market characterized by low prices, or if you want to make international shipments.

In some cases, if for example there were stocks to be disposed of, it is possible to link free shipping to the purchase of a specific product. Or, in the case of the launch of a new brand, you can opt for free shipping on the first purchase, or on the contrary to stimulate reordering and loyalty.

E-commerce strategies that take advantage of free shipping

The management of the free shipping service is at the absolute discretion of the company, which through a monitoring process of its e-commerce can realize how much its expenses affect the final decision of the customer during the check out phase.

One strategy to decrease the cart abandonment rate is to offer users real-time transportation quotes once they arrive at the checkout. This method, although less effective than free shipping, undoubtedly helps to gain greater customer trust. It shows, in fact, that shipping costs are not inflating or product prices are rising to cover expenses, promoting an image of transparency and fairness towards its customers. This strategy is especially applicable to those e-commerce companies that offer products that are difficult to transport, that is, those with which the free shipping strategy is difficult to apply.

However, the remaining types of shipping that can be used for your business are innumerable : it is in fact possible to guarantee free shipping for members of a program (for example, affiliation, points, loyalty, etc.) for specific geographical areas, for collection at a or shop for return, to specific methods of payment and even for those who eventually prove indecisive, through targeted acts activity remarketing to those who abandoned shopping.

Shipping strategies: the 11 main options

1 - Always free shipping

2 - Free shipping for members of a program

3 - Free shipping with a minimum order

4 - Free shipping with the purchase of specific products

5 - Free shipping for certain geographical areas

6 - Free shipping for collection in the store

7 - Free shipping for returns

8 - Free shipping for a limited time

9 - Free shipments for the undecided (remarketing)

10 - Free shipping for the first purchase

11 - Free shipping if N pieces of a product are purchased

Whatever choice you decide to make, the free shipping costs for an e-commerce are a very important strategic lever that must be observed very carefully. Once the line has been decided, it is necessary to use the utmost correctness and transparency : bragging incredible offers or free expenses that do not prove to be such, just to attract customers, is the most harmful thing you can do in an e-commerce business .

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