How Not to Discourage Customers with Shipping Cost
Are you confronted by the question: how much to charge on shipping? Formulating shipping policy is an important aspect of operating an online fashion shop. It’s unfortunate that many customers get discouraged by hefty shipping charges. But not if you could make them understand how you came up with your shipping policy. In fact, you can even use shipping in marketing your products further. Well, here’s our take on how to determine shipping cost and related topics.
Pass or Absorb Shipping Cost
The answer to this question is: “it depends”. So, when is the best time to offer free shipping? Absorb shipping cost for expensive but lightweight items, such as jewelry. These are merchandise you can freely place a high markup such that your shipping cost and other deductions are covered and still leave you with a considerable profit. Pass shipping cost to customers for bulky and heavy products, but do keep them aware about your policy on how to much to charge on shipping.
Returns and exchanges are another story. When it comes to faulty products, always step in to shoulder cost for return and exchange to keep customers happy. If customers want to exchange items for like items, and for valid reasons, say the dress is too tight or too loose, offer free shipping for exchange only. Let the customers spend for sending in the item to be exchanged. But be sure not to lose money on petty reasons like sudden and unreasonable change of mind.
Product Weight or Product Price
Generally, shipping vendors charge more for bulk and heavy items, regardless of their value. This should be well understood by all, but that’s not usually the case. Many online shoppers continue to bulk at high shipping for a rather heavy princess costume as compared with a pair of lingerie. If you could, try to offer the most affordable mode of shipment or offer it for free. But if that’s not financially sound, make your customers understand. Place blurbs about how to determine shipping cost for items they want to buy, and stipulate your shipping policy clearly on a separate page under Sale Terms and Conditions.
Make Money or Lose Business
You should know how much to charge on shipping because you risk losing business if you charge more and you risk losing money if you don’t charge enough. Again, customers hate costly shipping, and they don’t mind trading all the conveniences of online shopping and drive to a local store just to save money. Many shoppers these days do comparison shopping; they can always check with courier and logistics companies how much shipping is charged for a particular package size and weight.
Although you may offer free shipping from time to time, doing that for a continued period can hurt your business. You can’t absorb shipping cost forever no matter how saleable your products may be. You’ve got to at least break even in terms of shipping cost. Check with shipping vendors and use price comparison sites to know the best deals on shipping so you’re guided as to how to determine shipping cost. Also, negotiate with shipping firm agents for favorable shipping packages.
Shipping Policy and Promotion
With the weakening of customer loyalty, trivial things such as shipping count a lot to both sellers and buyers. Customers love free shipping, and you can always offer that occasionally as part of a seasonal sales promotion or as a mainstay incentive to bulk buyers and loyal customers. Then too you can encourage more purchases by offering buyers free shipping once their orders reach a certain amount. This should compel customers to load their shopping carts just to get free shipping. On another note, give customers a perception of free shipping by increasing your markup a little bit on selected items and absorbing shipping. Many customers tend to prefer paying a somewhat higher price in lieu of supposedly free shipping.
So there you have it, basic solutions to shipping issues. Hopefully now you know better how to determine shipping cost for your fashion merchandise.