holiday shipping optionsMarketing your ecommerce products for the holidays really is only the beginning. Now that the orders have started to flood in, you’ve probably got several other things to think about, from additional staff to packing and shipping. While you may not yet be in a position to bring on temporary help for the holidays, you’re probably already pulling your hair out over the shipping. 

What options do you have to save both you and your customers money? Well, let’s take a look.

Bundling 

If you’re a fan of the “if it fits, it ships” model, then bundling might just be the perfect solution for you. Consider pairing items on your ecommerce site that both complement each other and fit in the same box.

Not only can you offer your buyers the chance to save money on shipping, but you also elevate your chances of selling more than one item at a time. By offering special deals on the bundled items, you’re even more likely to move those products right out the door. 

Free Shipping

Now, offering shipping for free doesn’t sound like a great deal for you, but rest assured, you’ll be the hero of every shopper. Because you can’t take a chance on losing money while sending out the smallest items you sell, consider setting a spending limit before buyers can take advantage of the deal.

Here, again, you have the advantage. In order to get free shipping, buyers are likely to add one more thing to the shopping cart. To encourage this, consider adding a shipping calculator so buyers will know what they’ll pay for shipping if they don’t buy that one last thing.

The lower your free-shipping threshold, the more likely your customers will be to stick around. Abandoned cart conversion rates could be improved by as much as 60%, and you might also earn up to 45% more per transaction. 

Various Carriers 

For a wide variety of reasons, you should offer different shipping carriers for your customers. Some may provide faster service than others at a higher price, while others can ship for the lowest possible price if the customer is willing to wait. You shouldn’t make all those decisions for your buyers.

With a shipping calculator, you can help them determine how much the shipping will cost for each option. Instead of just estimating a charge and passing that cost on to the customer, you put the power in their hands.

Does this mean you have extra work to keep all the shipping straight? Sure. But keep in mind that UPS, FedEx, and some other shipping companies will drop by your business to pick up packages. With weighing scales and printed labels, you can cut down most of the work necessary for USPS items. The additional work is worth your effort when you realize buyers no longer abandon carts when they see your shipping options.

Use Envelopes

Do you have items that could easily ship in envelopes? Envelopes, especially when padded, work well for clothing items and other products that aren’t likely to break in transit. Imagine how much more affordable shipping would be for you and your customers if you could make the transition from boxes.

The willingness to think outside the box—heh—opens up more options for your buyers. This means they’ll be more likely to keep spending. They know you’re going to take care of them.

With your options in place, your next task is to stock up on shipping supplies. Whether you get products especially from the USPS or provide your own, make sure you have everything on hand before the season arrives. Take some time each week to conduct an inventory specifically for your shipping supplies. Nothing is more frustrating than having to leave your business and make a run to the post office or the store.

Context Marketing for the eCommerce Shopper

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Originally published Oct 27, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016