A Comprehensive Seller’s Guide to Shipping!

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The Spotz Guide for Sellers

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A Comprehensive Seller’s Guide to Shipping!

You’ve gone online, picked out the perfect items, put them in your cart, and… there’s a huge shipping fee. Unless you buy one more item that will put you over the ‘free shipping’ threshold!

Admit it, you’ve done this. You’re not alone, this is because of well-designed online stores that use shipping as another tool to increase sales. As a seller yourself, it’s now time to use this tool on behalf of YOUR business – and this comprehensive guide will show you exactly how to do that!

So where to start? Simple: Know what your customers want. Market research shows that across shopping platforms, one thing that can be a bit of a speed bump to locking in sales is the existence of a shipping fee. This is because unlike the products customers buy from your store, a shipping fee doesn’t deliver any long term goods – giving the perception that this money is simply ‘wasted’. But consumers also don’t seem to like stores ‘building in’ the cost of shipping as a percentage of the overall price; this too, can lead to your customers buying less.

But what’s the solution? Well, it turns out to be simple. By displaying a flat shipping fee, say $15, and then offering to waive that fee if a customer spends above a certain limit, they will often spend more money at your store in order to ‘save money’. It sounds counterintuitive, but it works.

As shown in the example above, you’ve probably done this yourself! Customers don’t care what the actual cost of shipping is – psychologically, they just don’t want to lose money.

So, in order to develop an effective shipping strategy, ask yourself some questions: How cheap are my products to ship? If they are small and light, lower the threshold for free shipping – encourage those additional sales! But if you sell large, heavy items, plan more thoroughly on the costs of shipping.

Additionally, ask yourself ‘What are my competitors doing?’ if you charge a high fee for shipping, and they don’t, you may lose customers.

For shipping internationally, first, determine which countries you want to sell your products in. Are your crafts popular in Europe right now? Definitely research what costs are to the EU, and whether your products might be subject to an import tax – often something that customers complain about if they’re unaware.

Consider using an online shipping price calculator before committing to a free shipping policy.

Are your products fragile? One of a kind, or bespoke? Consider insuring your items against damage during shipping. This is a cost that could be built into your price, or alternatively, offered as an extra option to customers. Customers who decide against shipping coverage are less likely to complain of damage during shipping – because they were allowed to make the decision themselves. In all cases – pack items carefully, and take efforts to protect your customers’ purchases!

Finally, capitalize on special holidays! Many customers making last-minute purchases will hesitate from making a purchase, because they don’t know when it will arrive. For example, a person eyeing one of your special products as a Christmas gift might not buy it if they aren’t sure it will arrive by December 25th.

Pick up these sales by providing a date by which shipping is guaranteed to arrive on time – for example, you could provide a notification that all purchases made by February 1st will arrive for Valentine’s Day. This way, you won’t lose any customers to delivery anxieties!

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