How to Make Free Shipping Profitable
Category: E-Commerce, How tos, Woocommerce

Free shipping is probably the best tool to increase the sales of an e-commerce business. However, you need to use it right. If you have any doubts regarding the same, we are going to change your thoughts on it. This article covers:

  • Why provide free shipping facility?
  • How to make free shipping profitable?
  • How to enable free shipping in your store?

Proceed if you are an e-commerce business owner and willing to know the secrets of availing the most out of free shipping marketing tactic.


Why provide free shipping facility?

Free is reportedly the most motivational word for customers. As per a survey, 90% of online buyers consider it the best incentive one could get while online shopping. People are ready to fill your subscription form, apply coupons, buy more than their requirement or take 2 additional steps if you are providing this facility.

Above that, if you are providing free shipping facility, buyers are ready to wait for additional days to receive the order.

Overall, free shipping can do wonders to your online business. It can increase your store’s conversion rate significantly. A few more statistics, which need your attention, are as under:

  • On record, companies have witnessed conversion rate boosting up by 20% to 90% or even higher.
  • More than half of Amazon’s top seller ship for free.

Still thinking about the losses it may cause? Well, read the next section to change it forever.

How to make free shipping profitable?

How to make free shipping profitable?
How to make free shipping profitable?

Giving out a service for free doesn’t always mean losses for the seller, as many think. With the right planning and careful execution of your free shipping campaign, it could bring more revenue than you’ve ever imagined.
Here are a few ways of making free shipping a profitable affair for your e-commerce business:


Reduce your Shipping Expenses

It’s an obvious method.

The lesser you will spend in your shipping process, the less you will lose and the lesser you’ll have to cover through other means. Isn’t it?

The question remains – How to reduce your shipping expenses?

For this, you can choose the best but pocket-friendly shipping partners as per the region you are selling to.

Furthermore, you can optimize the packaging process and material being used. For example, instead of using same packaging box for big and small orders, you can use customized boxes for each shipment.

Delivery path optimization could be another way of reducing the shipping expenses for your business. It means that if you are delivering within a city or using your own vehicle for delivering the products, you can reduce your expenses by figuring out the order of delivering. The less your vehicle or personnel will have to travel, the more fuel, time and effort you will save.


Set minimum spend limit or item count

Giving free shipping for a purchase worth $5 doesn’t make sense. Moreover, free shipping is not a good choice for low price products or sales. There should always be a minimum limit, above which, your buyers could avail free shipping facility from your shop.

An example for setting minimum cart total for availing free shipping offer
An example for setting minimum cart total for availing free shipping offer

Another benefit of doing so is – Setting the minimum spend limit or item count pushes the buyers to buy more products, if they could get free shipping facility for spending extra money.

There is an exception to this point.

In case there is a big margin on some products, you can compromise on that margin and provide free shipping service from that extra benefit. If demand and consumption increased, you will surely be able to balance the overall profit.


Set a Geographical Range

If not to all, you can provide free shipping facility to your local buyers at least.

For example – A pizza delivery store may deliver pizza for free within 3 kilometers. Or, a bakery may deliver free cake within 5 kilometers when a customer has ordered it in advance.

An Example for providing free shipping facility as per location
An Example for providing free shipping facility as per location

This free service won’t overburden you with extra expenses but will flood your online store with local orders. The benefit of getting bulk orders from local regions is that your average shipping expense will decrease, and profit will increase.


Ask for something in return of Free Shipping

Leads are precious. Customer retention is another important aspect of any business. By adding a few steps to gain important information, you can make the free shipping facility a benefitting deal for yourself.

Let us explain it to you with this example –

An example for giving free shipping facility in exchange of some details
An example for giving free shipping facility in exchange of some details

This company is providing Free Shipping facility and 40% off for signing up. And the trick works well.

You may tell buyers that it’s for codes or coupons or something similar. Now, as the buyers are your subscribers. You can email them your latest deals and other offers. Using this trick, you can increase your customer retention rate and sales.


Free shipping with conditions

In e-commerce stores, sellers may face rocket-high demand for a few orders, while a very low sale of other orders.

Giving free shipping convenience could help in both cases. For high sales, free shipping can encourage more people to buy it. On the other hand, for low sales, people will take interest in try your product. Hence, you can try giving free shipping facility on selective products.

Other conditions, like low-traffic hours for local orders, an extended delivery date for intercity orders, etc. are a few more examples of the situations when free shipping can be provided.


Flat-rate shipping at low rates to make it appear like free shipping

Let’s say, an e-commerce store is charging a flat rate shipping rate from its buyers. It asks you to pay $20 for shipping the order worth $300 to $500.

Now, if your cart has products worth $340, you might want to add a few more products to the list, considering that you will not have to pay any extra money for shipping of rest purchases.

Therefore, by doing so, an e-commerce store just persuaded the buyer to buy more. As a result, this practice increases overall sales.

Tip: You may easily charge shipping fee based on cart total.


How to enable free shipping in your store?

As you are convinced about the criticality of free shipping feature in your e-commerce store, you might want to enable it with your store too. Let us help you in doing so.

The only prerequisite for enabling free shipping is this plugin, installed with your WooCommerce store. The procedure is –

  • Install the plugin, by clicking on the link given above.
  • Create a shipping method and add all the rules as you want. For example, you may want to give this facility for the cart total above a specific limit or to the buyers from a specific location, or both. Advanced Flat Rate Plugin lets you do it all.
  • Fill the Shipping Charge as ZERO (0) and save the method.

Enabling free shipping in an online Store using Advanced Flat Rate Shipping for WooCommerce Plugin
Enabling free shipping in an online Store using Advanced Flat Rate Shipping for WooCommerce Plugin

With the help of this plugin, enabling flat rate shipping with your e-commerce store is a task of 2 minutes.

Seeing the benefits of letting people avail free shipping, we’ll say that you must enable ‘free shipping’ in your e-commerce store. However, always look for the equations it creates and tries minimizing the burden it adds to your business.

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