How Does Free Shipping Really Work for eCommerce?

We hear the term “free shipping” often being used to promote business deals (especially in eCommerce)- and, interestingly enough, it’s been an efficient strategy to catch customers’ attention for many brands. For small parcel deliveries, shipping fees don’t weigh too heavily during the purchasing process. In fact, most consumers expect delivery to be free of charge when shopping online. But can this be applied to heavy goods? In this blog, we’ll break down how free shipping works for products like furniture, so you can leverage your business logistics and optimize costs. 

According Wikipedia, free shipping is defined as:

“A marketing tactic used primarily by online vendors and mail-order catalogs as a sales strategy to attract customers.”

There are many different ways a shipper can take advantage of this method in their business process. This is because each company’s needs and demand varies in order to efficiently build their profit. Below are a few ways companies have used free shipping as a sales strategy: 

  • Free shipping if you buy before a certain time 
  • Absolute free shipping 
  • Free shipping if you’re a subscribed member 
  • Free shipping if you spend a certain amount

So how does this apply to bulky deliveries? 

In order to ship a product like a bed frame from the manufacturing center to your customer’s home on the other coast, you have to consider the service level, assembly fees, weight, time frame, etc. It’s not as simple as packaging it through FedEx and calling it a done deal. Overall, it’s a very costly process. Yet, many businesses still manage to offer a free delivery to consumers, even when it  comes to heavy goods.

To break it down further, here’s how it works: the shipper would add the cost of the delivery to the product cost and offer it as “free” shipping. So if a mattress should cost $800 and shipping is $200, the store will sell it for $1,000 and offer it as free shipping. The store can also consider the minimum order size to guarantee margins to cover the shipping fee, with orders that are above a certain minimum. Combined with those two, sellers can provide free shipping ONLY for $49 with an order above $600 where you cannot buy any two items that are greater than $600 and less than $1,000. 

Essentially, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to offer free shipping considering the many factors that go into pricing. For some, it may make sense to offer free shipping when a certain amount is spent, whereas others may apply the shipping cost into their products as a better deal. But enabling this option for your customers can have many great benefits to growing your business. It encourages them to buy more products from your store and become a loyal shopper to your company. Not only is it a great marketing strategy to show how generous your offers are, but it will also contribute to increasing the company’s sales and revenue. 

About Deliveright 

Deliveright is the leading Digital Delivery Network for Heavy Goods. Powered by its patented Grasshopper platform, Deliveright provides a complete technology and logistics solution for delivery companies and online retailers. Deliveright’s mission is to help customers grow their businesses by applying its machine learning technology to supply chain, logistics and transportation challenges.

If you don’t yet have an account to ship with Deliveright, you can sign up through our platform to book your orders directly. To learn more about our services, please contact us here

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Ori Anavim


On Key

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