We all have been through this
We all have been tempted by online shopping because we think it is easier to get what you want with just a click. It all goes pretty well at first, and we choose what we want while we see different products with their prices. We go on adding products to our cart.
Then we are confronted by something that makes our whole idea of online shopping an expensive exercise. We take a second look at all this when we see how much we have to pay for shipping and handling purposes. At this point, many of the online shoppers will just leave the website thinking of the hassle and higher rates associated with shipping boxes. Thus online retailers lose many their customers as a result of their flawed shipping strategies. Various studies have shown that shipping and handling rates associated with online shopping are the top factors that dwindle online shopping.
What should online retailers do to keep their customers interested in online shopping? Here are some shipping strategies that online retailers can use:
Making Shipping Free
Though providing free shipping can be a handy bait to gain the attention of customers, it can also cut a retailer's profits. But it is highly advantageous for an online store to have 'free shipping' option on their websites and not many online stores offer such a generous offer, the one offering will stand unique for customers. For this either the company will either have to bear the costs or put slightly higher rates on the products to make for the shipping costs. An online retailer can also do this by conditioning free shipping with a minimum order amount or with a minimum number of products. Such a strategy should enhance the sales thus magnifying profits making free shipping still doable. To this end, online retailers should also run advertisements making their free shipping reach as many people as possible.
However, whether a company should offer free shipping also depends on the type of products it deals in. For instance, a retailer dealing in luxury or handmade and unique items, attaching a shipping fee is the right course of action, for there will be less competition in the market. However, dealing in products in a highly competitive market where free shipping is rampant, charging money for shipping box is a bad idea. Here one of the above strategies can be used to make for the free shipping costs.
Charge the Actual Shipping Costs
If you are an online retailer that still wants to charge for shipping boxes, you should charge the actual costs you get charged from a shipping company. In this way, the customer pays roughly as much for shipping as the retailer has to pay. There can be minor disparities in this; however, the retailer can still avoid these by breaking down the costs between how much it collects and how much it pays to a shipping company.
Give Flat Rates
Finally, an online retailer can come up with a flat rate for every product, or even flat rates for entire orders. This way of charging for shipping demands some preparation on the part of the online retailers for they should find out an average cost for shipping a product. Thus offering flat rates could be the best method to make for the shipping costs while maintaining higher sales.