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The reality is that often once you add shipping to the price of the item the overall price may not be any better than buying it the store - it might even be higher.
I'm looking at a potential business idea and we keep trying to shoe-horn shipping into the price and still be competitive overall. Should we just stop worrying about shipping and just have the item price competitive?
Are online consumers just getting blind to shipping costs? Is it just now a way of life and more or less ignored?
Several of our competitors are offering free shipping, but it isn't until you look really hard that you find they have hidden "handling charges." A lot of the time these hidden charges are higher than normal shipping.
We pad the price by about 25% on the upgraded shipping so it has become a nice margin fattener for us as well.
If you are going to charge for all shipping, make sure that the amount charged is clear to the user well before the checkout process. People tend to dump carts pretty quick if they don't know what the end price is going to be until the end of the checkout.
We are always asked where the hidden charges are....
So, for what it is worth, perhaps totally free shipping is not necessarily a GOOD thing.
Something along the lines of..."...if it sounds too good to be true..."?
Should we just stop worrying about shipping and just have the item price competitive?
In a word: yes. Just make sure your shipping is competitive too, if at all possible.
From up here, shipping is usually the killer on any purchase. I long for the days when I could just check "UPS Ground" and have it done with... but now my only options are either (if I'm lucky) Priority Mail or (more commonly) UPS 2nd Day...
I do try to find the cheapest price (from a seemingly reputable merchant) to start with, but then I never finalize and order until I've compared total costs including shipping from two or three different merchants. Often I find the cheapest item price is also (unfortunately) from the guy who only offers FedEx Overnight service to Alaska, or something stupid like that.
The thing that gets people in the door is product price, IMHO. This way you get the low-price shoppers. If your shipping is also competitive, you will keep them.
We have not tried the "free shipping" slogan
This is the price you pay for the item delivered to your door and in US Dollars.
1. when we did this it stopped the emails asking "how much is shipping"
2. In USD, stopped the "how much is that converted to USD"
People know where they stand with us.
Now it is only my fellow Aussies who are confused with the site, but not my major market web audience.
Cheers from the Outback
1. Offer free shipping for purchases over a certain dollar amount. Existing prices for products stay the same. The advantage is hopefully higher volumes and you can also maintain lower prices. The downside of course is somewhat lower margins.
2. Offer free shipping. Period. Build a reasonable shipping cost into each products price. To me the downside is that people still wonder what the catch is and you do have higher prices at first blush when people are comparison shopping.
3. Offer 1 cent shipping. Probably still need to adjust prices to account for reasonable shipping costs. Sort of takes out the "what's the catch" mentality and maybe different enough from free shipping to gather attention (could always add an icon on each product page - 1 cent shipping or some such notice).
I'd like to hear some feedback on what people think of the options. Maybe there are others you would like to suggest.
"Merchants have figured out that the words 'free shipping' get consumers into their online stores," said Davis. "But they build walls up or conditions so that many of those consumers will not qualify for free shipping."
Aren't both methods a way to entice the buyer? To me, I see little difference.
Difficult to see how you can include it in the price, there are too may variables involved with internet selling. eg..
will freight be domestic or international?
land transport or air
standard post or express?
packaging involves 1 unit or 20?
Customers realize these costs have to be covered and personally, I want to see an upfront statement to that effect and what the bottom line cost will be. Majority of folks do.
If the supplier doesn't give me the information needed to make an informed decision.... my business goes elsewhere.