My online shop is with Etsy and I think they offer the best services. It is a nice community of creative and vintage sellers. If you haven’t heard of Etsy please go and check out the site at etsy.com but that is not why I bring etsy up. My question is to online shops owners about their shipping policies. Do you offer free shipping or do you charge a set price for an each item?
Yesterday I was searching for some supplies I needed but when I got to their checkout the shipping charge was really high. Since I ship I had a good idea what the weight of my order would ship for and was very shocked at the price. I cancelled my items and decided to keep looking. I thought about my shop realizing anyone who stops in will not have any shipping charges if they live in the USA. I charge the actual shipping charge for everywhere else plus any other fees associated with the shipment. No surprises and the customer knows this right up front. So is this a good thing or does it not matter?
I think it does matter if you charge shipping. It did for me. According to many of the business online blogs I read the average online consumer will search for things online and then go and buy in a store. Online shoppers are on the rise. What if the item is handmade or a high-end boutique gift only found online? There are many boutique specialty shops sprouting up only selling online. The savvy design conscious trend setting unique shopper knows this. Now photos have to be of top quality and items have to be unique special one of a kind, the IT thing to buy. You can not talk a customer into why they need your item. All you have is the written words pictures and emotional attachment or impulse to grab your customer. Everything falls into place and they click the button BUY. Things are looking good until they see the total of their purchase with the shipping charges glaring at them. The impulse is gone and the thrill of the buy along with it. The special unique piece of fabulous is deleted removed from the cart, sale lost.
Now play the same scenario but when they hit BUY the price is the same as when they first fell in love with the item. They are thrilled because they are getting it and it did not cost them a penny more. Of course we all know somewhere the cost of shipping is absorbed in the pricing. It doesn’t matter to the customer hitting the BUY button because they have already accepted the price logically, it is the heart wanting the item now. In my shop I absorb some of the shipping and I use recycled boxes. Most of my things can also fit in USPS boxes that I can get free which helps keep the cost down.
Think of shipping your things at no charge as offering something nice. A service that is unique. Next thought how do you package your items? Stay tuned…