If you’re not offering free shipping in 2020, you’ll want to think again. Not only do customers expect to receive a free shipping option from eCommerce stores that they shop at nowadays, 9 in 10 customers will shop more when shipping is free. In fact, the average value of an order increases by 30% when free shipping is offered. Here’s how to offer free shipping without cutting into your profit margin, and boosting revenue at the same time:

1. Don’t be afraid to use the cheapest option

A lot of people are worried about using the cheapest shipping option because of the time it takes to ship. In reality, 50% of shoppers don’t mind waiting for shipping as long as it’s free, and those who want their package to arrive faster don’t mind paying for it. In fact, 88% of shoppers would pay for same day or expedited delivery.

2. Include shipping costs with product price

You can either include the partial cost of shipping to the product or cover the amount entirely by adding it to your product. The best way to do so is to include a flat rate cost to your products instead of calculating costs individually for each product. You might need to work on your pricing strategy to optimize this, but it will be well worth the work. If you display a product for $30, including shipping and taxes, the chances are it might seller quicker than the product that has individual break-up price displayed.

3. Apply restrictions on shipping

There are so many creative ways to provide shipping and still catch the attention of the customers. For example, you can provide free shipping only to first-time customers, which can be a great incentive. During events and holidays, you can offer free shipping for a limited time only. Another popular and effective strategy is offering free shipping after a specific value threshold has been met. This boosts the overall profit by an average of 30%. You can also apply free shipping to shoppers in your region to boost spend while you keep your own costs ultra low, and charge flat rate fees to areas outside of your region and internationally.

4. Bundle it up

Shoppers have a lot of distractions online with limited time. Add in the confusion of gift shopping for events and holidays, and bundles seem like a no-brainer. When you bundle up relevant products and sell them as a whole package, it covers the shipping costs and also allows you to sell more. If you’re not bundling the products into one, you can still offer them by prompting shoppers on your site with relevant products indicating items frequently bought together.

5. Pay attention to packaging materials

Packaging materials can play a huge role in increased shipping costs. Make sure to use correct packaging material and using customized boxes, smaller boxes, and poly mailers help reduce the shipping cost. There are a host of other ways you can save on shipping, like consolidating shipments and buying packaging in bulk. You can completely avoid the guesswork and research by using plugins on Shopify and other eCommerce platforms that allow you to use a 4D boxing algorithm. This automatically optimizes shipments by using the least amount of packaging. 

6. Switch to a 3PL

If you want the best of both worlds – discounted shipping and faster delivery, use a 3PL instead of going to the carrier directly. They work on aggregate volume discounts, so even if your business is too small to negotiate amazing rates directly from the carrier, shipping aggregators will pass down the savings to you just for signing up. Plus, they’re partnered with multiple carriers, each with different rates and service levels so you can choose the best option for your business every time. They also also integrate directly to your sales channels including Shopify, Woo Commerce, Bigcommerce, eBay, Amazon, and Etsy while enabling you to manage all your orders from one place.

If you’re looking for a 3PL to partner with to make free shipping profitable in 2020, check out eShipper. Email [email protected] to schedule a call with a logistics expert to find a custom solution built to grow your business.

Download the Route App

Track everything you order online, in one place. Please fill out the information below and we'll text you a link to download the app.


We won't store or use your number for anything else. Standard text messaging rates may apply.