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When NOT to apply Free Shipping as Standard

Hi All

I've seen here mentioned by many sellers on here that they'd always recommend doing free shipping on everything all the time. I've tried this for a limited time over the last few years but never saw any noticeable increase in sales. I also just tried it again the last 2 weeks as Sales are down, and again no noticeable effect. Still similar conversion rate with Ads. And actually our average order value has gone down, so it appears to have been counterproductive for us. Normally we just do free shipping over €50 and I think that's the way to continue.

So, I'm trying to compile a list of when NOT to offer Free Shipping as I think this applies to our product

  1. When your product price is easily comparable. This is particularly true with the rise of Google Shopping. If a customer sees your product (or similar) for €10 (plus later discover €5 shipping) from another seller and €15 from you (including shipping), you may have already lost the customer before they even get to your website
  2. When your product has alot of upsell potential For us, people often buy a duvet cover + fitted sheet + Pillow on our website. They may have come to our site for just 1 of those but we encourage upsell with the Free over €50
  3. If you have a physical store. Most big bricks and mortar retailers (from what I can tell) are still not doing free delivery on everything, and reasons should be obvious, as they have to keep in store prices same as online, so they can't just factor shipping costs in similar to how a pure ecommerce company can.
  4. If your product is very low value. If you add €5 shipping onto to a €5 product, so it's now €10, the customer will often intuitively know that's expensive knowing they normally pay €5 in shops. Some product just require customers to bundle and upsell online, otherwise it just doesn't work. This is surely a big reason why the massive retailer Primark still doesn't sell online. If you have a €40 product, it's much easier to just factor it in and offer the product at €45, as in the customers mind it's just a 10% difference.
  5. When you're selling on your own website only. On marketplaces like Amazon, customers just expect free delivery so you have to factor it in. Also, I think customers are buying so frequently on Amazon and it's such a simple checkout that they've no problem doing a quick purchase of one product only. On a less well known site (where it's often their first purchase), they'll spend more time on your and may want to buy a few things.

I suspect alot of the people on here who say always offer Free Shipping are selling mid to Upper value product (from €40 upwards) and probably have their own brand so that the price comparison isn't such an issue. Possibly also something that doesn't respond much to upselling attempts.

Wondering what people think? Other reasons NOT to offer free shipping?

submitted by /u/ivfdad84
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