As the holiday season winds down, one thing you’ve probably noticed from your competitors is that they now offer free shipping and free returns for their customers. It’s a service arguably started by Amazon years ago as part of their supreme attention to customer service. Since they started it, almost every other retailer began doing the same thing.
No wonder online shopping has taken off into the stratosphere over the last few years as a result. During the holidays, there isn’t any better peace of mind for consumers than being able to buy something without being smacked with a large shipping fee. The same goes for pain-free returns when gifts aren’t what they expect.
At one time, many stores balked at this until realizing it’s really good insurance for bringing in new customers and nurturing loyalty.
Here’s a look at how how free shipping and free returns are becoming the norm for retailers, and why you should consider it yourself.
Changing the Philosophy on Free Services
As maybe a startup, you realize shipping and returns policies can become major expenses when you’re adhering to a budget. Nevertheless, philosophies have begun to change on offering free services in order to attract more customers.
All consumers have more astute radars to what constitutes a good deal and what doesn’t during online shopping. When they see you’ve made an effort to give them free services like this, they’ll know you’re doing it for them and not thinking of yourself.
On the other hand, it’s a good psychological tactic drawing more customers to you from competitors who still feel tepid offering free shipping.
Much of this rests on forming long-term relationships with customers, which is imperative for the future of your business’s survival.
Why Free Shipping is So Important to Consumers
Recent statistics show 78% of shoppers find free shipping more important to them than expedited shipping. Only 38% of those surveyed found faster shipping more attractive over free shipping processes.
In this regard, you have some proof many customers have willingness to wait a little longer for their packages to save money. There isn’t anything that creates more abandonment of shopping carts than a customer seeing expensive shipping charges.
It’s something you’ve perhaps had to raise in recent years to keep yourself profitable. Offering free shipping (at least around the holidays) is going to give you a bigger rate of return thanks to the buying boost.
You can survive financial losses from this by simply offering free shipping annually. Thanks to creating more loyal customers, you’ll have a full year ahead to keep yourself profitable through each quarter.
Free Returns Net Higher Profits
Don’t think not offering free returns hurts your profitability. You’ll find statistics showing when consumers see a free returns offer, it increases profits for the business by 25% six months after the returns occur.
Here you see another example of how offering free now helps pay off in coming months and years. Now you see the secret to why the big retail stores offer free returns not only during the holidays, but other times of the year as well.
Since the future is what truly matters in your business, knowing you’ll have more loyal customers as a result of free shipping and returns gives you solid insurance.
First, though, you need to work closely with a fulfillment center so they can provide top-tier shipping and returns to make free worth the price.
At insightQuote, we offer our FulfillmentCompanies.net site to search for the right warehouse suiting your company. With thorough vetting, you’ll find a fulfillment center willing to take on the biggest shipping challenges.
Contact us to find out more about our services for the coming year.