To charge for shipping or not to charge, that´s the question!

If you sell online and a new client has filled her cart, at the checkout page she gets hit with your shipping and handling fees and then there is a big chance she will leave the filled cart behind and leave your site. What can you do about this, because she liked the hair, she trusted your shop, but she did not see this surprise coming!

Surveys show that the number one reason for people to leave a full shopping cart behind was too high shipping and handling costs. Another important reason was they felt the shipping costs were listed too late during the checkout process.

What to do about this?

Free Shipping

You can offer free shipping; this is very in demand because clients are less and less willing to pay for shipping.

Of course make sure you have done your calculations right, checked the average weight using a digital postal scale  and schedules, because free shipping for your clients means that you´ll have to pay for it. If your profit margin allows it, you can decide not to charge extra, or you can add up a markup, this is a % on the retail price of your hair so you can spread the shipping costs over all the hair and other products you sell.

Make sure you offer Free shipping only for Domestic orders, these expenses you will be able to monitor very close.

The advantage of free Shipping can be your average order size will increase, because you have a unique selling point. So make sure you mention it in big letters on your home page and for example your metatags.

Consider to offer Free Shipping only for orders above a certain amount, this will avoid you will make a loss on low cost products.

But what if you cannot afford or do not want to offer Free shipping?

Only charge the actual expenses.

If you allow your clients to select the shipping method they prefer, using the prices and conditions directly from the postage or courier services, it is clear you do not intend to make any profit on shipping. This will help you to win trust from your clients, because it shows you do not inflate your prices to cover these charges.

Flat rates

If you have calculated the average shipping charge for option one, and you decided not to offer Free shipping and you decide to offer a flat rate for shipment.  If needed per different weight brackets or order amount.

A great advantage is your client will know, up front, before the check out the charge for shipping, so no unpleasant surprise and abandoned shopping carts.

Whatever method you select, make sure you keep an eye on your shipping costs and the money you collect to cover these expenses. Over time it can be smart to adapt the method you selected and to keep your unique selling point.

Good luck!




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