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Get More Sales with Competitive Shipping

shipping with your shopping cart software

When you first launched your web store, you kept telling yourself how exciting it was that, for the first time, you’d be competing in a worldwide market. Now, a customer in Istanbul can see your offerings as easily as a customer two blocks away. Of course, the downside of this is that you’re also competing against similar vendors from that same worldwide market. Shipping now plays a major part in a buyer’s decision. Are you taking advantage of the power of your Kryptronic eCommerce software so that you’re competitive?

Correct Shipping Charges = More Sales

There are few truths in the ecommerce world, but this is one of them. Let’s face it, if you’re selling a product that your competition is also selling, sometimes you can’t compete on price. Sometimes the margins aren’t there, or the manufacturer won’t let you sell below their MAP pricing. In this world, getting your shipping charges correct, in line with your competition, can produce sales. The basic rule of thumb here is to get the shipping charges as low as possible, while not losing money. Our software has tons of features that allow you to offer free shipping once certain criteria, like a minimum order total, is met. Use these tools to beat up on your competitors a bit, and make more money in the process. Here are a few tips to get you going…

The Weight Of It All…

The process of putting in the weights and measurements of all of your products can be quite tedious. It can be tempting to simply ‘guess’ and say “close enough.” But those guesses can have adverse effects in several ways:

  • You guess ‘light’ and every time you ship a package, you lose money.
  • You guess ‘heavy’ and your shipping cost is now higher than any competitors… so again… you lose money.

The way a system like ours works is that when customers add products to the cart, your shopping cart software does some quick algebra and determines the size and the weight of the package you’re going to need. It then dials up your shipper and says, “Hey, I have a 12 lb box that is 18″X 14″X 16″. How much to ship from this zip code to that zip code?” Your shipper then replies with “Hey, it would be $12.” That price is then sent into the shopping cart as your shipping price.

Obviously, if you haven’t done your homework and your weights and measurements are off, so too will be our algebra and hence, your shipping costs.

Handling

So what do you do if you can only guess about shipping? There are a couple of ways to ‘smooth’ things a bit to make sure that in the end, you’re not losing money on shipping. A ‘handling’ fee is a great way to bridge that gap. You simply go into your Store > Component > Settings > Shipping Settings menu and find the Handling Charge entry. Add $2 or $3 to that and that fee will be added to each and every shipment under the covers as a handling fee. When your shipper returns the shipping rate, this is automatically added to it. This could save you from a slight under-quote of your measurements… but keep in mind that will also increase the shipping fee and could scare off prospective buyers.

Free is good…

Many of our customers have great success by offering free shipping and rolling that cost into the price of the product. In some cases, where there is a great deal of competition, offering ‘Free Shipping’ can make all the difference in the world. You can test this on one or two of your most popular products and see if it makes a difference, but it might be worth a try.

Shipping Methods

Whether you use UPS, FED EX, or USPS, make sure that you’ve got the right methods that fit your mode of operations. For example, if you have to make a product you’re selling and it takes two days to pound one out, don’t offer overnight shipping. Make sure that you have all of the cheapest potential methods for shipping active. You can view these by going to Store > Shipping > Realtime Services. You don’t have to overwhelm customers with shipping choices, but just provide a few methods that cover the services you’re able to deliver and that present customers with at least one cheap slow method and one faster more expensive method. These vary depending on the shipper you choose to work with.

A worldwide marketplace also means worldwide competition. Make sure you’re ready.

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