I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a strong guess that you have an Amazon Prime membership. It’s amazing, isn’t it?! Pay $100 for the whole year to get free 2 day shipping.
Because of websites like Amazon, free shipping is becoming the norm these days. In fact, a study done by Walker Sands showed that 9 out of 10 of the survey participants said free shipping was the No. 1 incentive when asked what would make them shop online more often. Also one of the top reasons why customers abandon their cart is when they realize the additional costs of shipping.
Offering free shipping is the thing to do these days with online retail stores.
But just exactly how do shop owners offer free shipping? Don’t they lose money?! The answer is no. A smart business owner won’t lose money by offering free shipping if they do it right.
Factor Shipping Into Price
The only way to offer free shipping is to factor the shipping costs into your product price.
So for example, if you are selling a scarf and you want to sell it for $10.99 and you know that shipping to the farthest place in your country would be $5.95, then add the $5.95 to your $10.99 price and sell the item for $16.94 with free shipping.
That’s how most businesses offer free shipping. It seems sneaky right? But turns out a customer would rather pay more if they believe they don’t have to pay for shipping 🤷♀️
Offer Free Shipping After a Set Purchase Amount
Another way to offer free shipping is to offer free shipping for orders over X amount of dollars.
So if you don’t want your pricing to go too high by factoring the total shipping cost into every item you can offer free shipping if a person buys multiple products and spends over X amount of dollars, hoping that you made enough in profit to cover the small cost of shipping.
If a person purchases multiple items you should have a good profit margin to where you can spend money to ship the products at your cost.
Offer Free Shipping as a Sale Offer
One great way to really nudge a customer to finally purchase your product is to do a flash sale with free shipping. “1 Day Only – FREE Shipping!” will really push a person to act on their abandoned shopping cart.
Ship Priority Mail
One major way to save on shipping costs in the U.S. is to ship packages via USPS Priority Mail. This is actually how I offer free shipping to all of my customers.
First, I get free packaging supplies when I ship through Priority Mail. I order these supplies in batches via usps.com. They are shipped to my house for free also! Here are the primary packaging supplies that I use:
Flat rate padded envelope
Flat rate regional rate box A
Flat rate regional box B
I love shipping with flat rate packaging because I pay a flat rate no matter the weight of the package (I think the max is 15lbs). Plus it gets to the customer 2-3 business days after the USPS receives the package.
Promote Your Free Shipping Offer
To significantly increase your sales rates make sure you promote your free shipping offer in any way possible. On Etsy you can do this by using a photo slot to include the free shipping information. Create a free graphic on Canva.com to promote the offer. Also be sure to include the free shipping info in the details of your listing.
So what do you think? Are you ready to take the plunge and offer free shipping in your Etsy shop? You can actually offer this option by creating a sale under the Marketing section of your Etsy Shop Dashboard. Select “I’d like to offer shoppers free shipping” as your option, and be sure to choose if you want free shipping domestically or if you leave that box unchecked that will offer free shipping internationally.