How to make shipping a selling point

#shipping #postage #mail

When it comes to online businesses, it pays to take the shipping and postage options of your products into deep consideration. Data supplied by the trusted currency business, comScore, showed that up to 74% of those interviewed had abandoned their online shopping basket due to higher than expected delivery charges.

Although online shopping affords consumers the convenience of shopping from the comfort of our own homes, it poses a challenge to the online seller who must find the most cost-effective way of delivering our goods. A franking machine could hold the answer.

Whether you choose to add a franking machine to your business to pass on savings to your consumers or can provide additional pick-up locations, shipping can easily be used to encourage your customers to make a purchase.

What are the main issues consumers face with shipping costs?

We've all been there, as a customer, when we've found the perfect item online. Perhaps we're looking for a special birthday gift or maybe it's an end-of-month treat that's caught our eye. Either way, the majority of us can remember the disappointment of going to pay for our goods and discovering the shipping costs are sky high.

However we look at them, shipping costs are an additional charge that customers aren't always prepared for. If your product is solely available online, this may be a hurdle that they just have to overcome themselves. On the other hand, if you also have a brick and mortar store (or if your competitors do), your potential customers may be reluctant to accept this added expenditure in favour of visiting a store in person. In these situations, it pays to consider making your shipping options a significant selling point for your business.

How?

Depending on the size of your business, the bulk dimensions of the product in question and the number of sales you process on a regular basis, your options for shipping costs will alter significantly. However, for all businesses, there are a host of different ways you can use shipping costs and postage options as a beneficial promotion for your business.

Visibility

According to a mini-guide by B2C Europe, one of the clearest ways to reduce your shopping basket abandonment rates is to be upfront about shipping fees as early as possible. Make it as easy for your customers to understand what the additional fees will be and what the total basket price will come to, should they choose to proceed.

Increase available options

The addition of franking machines in your business is a practical way of increasing the number of shipping options a customer can select. Providing a range of options from Next Day Delivery through to Royal Mail 2nd Class allows your customers to take control of their shipping costs. For those able to wait a little longer, the reduction in postage costs could be a welcome saving. In turn, if it's an urgent gift they need, customers are more likely to spend more on shipping to ensure they receive their item on time.

Flexibility

B2C Europe has noted the rise of click-and-collect, express and track-and-trace options as being beneficial options for small businesses. If you have a brick and mortar store, encouraging your customers to collect their online order in-store also gives you the opportunity to generate add-on sales while you 'WOW' them with your exceptional customer service. In turn, these options provide convenience for busy working individuals who can arrange for their orders to be shipped to locations near their workplace.

Free Shipping

A sure-fire way of ensuring more online sales is to provide free shipping options. For many businesses, this may not be a viable permanent option. However, consider offering a Free Shipping promotion during busy selling periods, such as the lead up to Christmas.

If you've added a franking machine to your business, you will continue to receive the Royal Mail discounts for franked parcels and, therefore, the shipping cost loss will be kept to a minimum. In theory, offering free shipping could encourage more customers to purchase from your website, offsetting the fact that you’ll be covering the shipping costs.

How to advertise shipping costs?

Ensuring your customers are aware of your shipping costs. Make sure to include large call-to-actions on each page of your website that promote any shipping offers or special deals you are offering at any time. Use your email database to send out regular updates, especially if you decide to opt for a Free Shipping period or if your current shipping options change.

In order to offer the most competitive shipping options, franking machine leasing is a cost-effective and convenient solution for any business. Franking machines give you more flexibility for shipping options, allow you to pay the correct prices for each order and ensure you benefit from exclusive business discounts to help your company to grow and expand.

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