This holiday season, online sales are likely to reach all-time high records. With each year, a growing number of consumers decide to utilize the internet for their holiday shopping needs. Is your business ready to handle the increased traffic to its website? As well, is it prepared to offer online shoppers what they’re looking for?
Bear in mind that people who like to shop online enjoy hunting down bargains. And, in many cases, a “bargain” is considered found when shipping charges are eliminated from the final costs of the purchases. If you’re looking to outdo your competition, you’d be wise to offer free shipping to your online shoppers.
Here are three reasons to do so:
1. You’ll avoid cart abandonment.
One of the top reasons online shoppers fill up their virtual shopping carts with items but don’t follow through on completing their transactions is because of shipping fees. Generally, the charges for shipping are perceived to make the costs of the purchased items too high. According to Joe Putnam on Rejoiner.com, studies have shown that high delivery costs are among the main reasons online shoppers abandon their carts.
He reveals that an AlixPartners survey found that the top reasons customers chose not to order from an online retailer or other mail-order businesses were because they needed to see or touch the item before purchasing (37%) and the cost of delivery was too high (36%).
2. It will help you to outshine your competitors.
People don’t just like to locate high-quality items. They like to support businesses they feel good about. For example, two different stores may offer the exact same item at the exact same price. However, only one of the two stores is involved in a holiday food drive. Which of the two stores do you think will attract the most attention? Free shipping is something that will help you to outshine your competitors.
“In the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey, nearly half of those surveyed (48.2 percent) named free shipping and shipping promotions as the top factor for choosing a retailer,” reports Shipworks.com, “Even if free shipping isn’t part of your company’s everyday strategy, you might want to consider building one-day flash campaigns around free shipping for three particular dates.”
3. It will attract bargain hunters.
As mentioned, savvy holiday shoppers are those that find the best prices for the items they covet. Consider the following scenario: A shopper locates an item from one company’s website for $39.99. For shipping, another $7.00 is added to the final sale. Meanwhile, on your company’s website, that same item is priced at $44.99. However, shipping is free. Which company do you think will make the sale?
“In many cases, shipping costs can greatly increase the final price paid for an item bought online,” writes Peter Roesler on Inc.com, “If an item costs $25 and the shipping costs are $5, the shipping costs have raised the price by 25 percent. Price savvy consumers on the internet are searching for ways to save money and as the various research survey shows, people turn to coupons and free shipping as the fastest way to cut their final costs.”
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