Free shipping offers are not as difficult to design as many might think, and multi-carrier shipping software can help a shipper make smart free shipping offers a part of any business plan.
Online PR News – 21-December-2011 – – Harvey Software, Inc. today described how its Computerized Parcel System (CPS™) can help Internet retailers determine when to offer free shipping for orders. Free shipping is solidified in its place in the online market. With more than 60% of online orders this year placed with free shipping, this trend shows no signs of reversal. Major online players like Amazon have leveraged free shipping for years, and other sites have adapted to this standard. Going forward, it is easy to see an online market where free shipping is more or less required for retailers to stay competitive.
“Free shipping has become the norm in Internet shopping. Customers expect to see it and retailers need to be prepared to offer it,” said Bob Sansone, Director of Sales at Harvey Software. “There are multiple reasons why free shipping increases sales, not least of which is avoiding the ‘sticker shock’ of seeing shipping charges added in at the end of a sale. Customers want to know the full price of items as they shop. Passing along shipping charges near the end of the transaction often means there is no transaction. Even better, free shipping introduces the word ‘free’ into marketing efforts,” continued Mr. Sansone. “Free shipping also places your business in the national market. Your products cost the same for customers in any part of the United States. Without it, you become a regional option with potential customers limited to only those located around you. If you owned a brick and mortar store, you wouldn’t be checking addresses and charging more for those who live further away. So why would you do this in an online store?” asked Mr. Sansone.
Retailers who are interested in making free shipping offers might be intimidated by the perceived difficulties of making such offers. That retailer will want to know shipping costs, averaged by weight and by item, and they will want separate line items for ground, two-day, and overnight services. A large portion of the work can be done automatically with a multi-carrier shipping software, by running reports on the shipping history. By knowing average shipping costs, retailers will know the costs that need to be covered in order to make “free” shipping offers.
“Offering free shipping is a challenge for today’s online sellers. When you study the prices of popular websites that offer free shipping, you will find they work the shipping charges into the cost of the items. Shipping is not ‘free’ to the retailer, they have just figured out a way to average those charges into the cost of the product,” said Mr. Sansone. “This is where multi-carrier shipping software like our CPS can really help. There are reporting features available to provide shipping cost averages for each carrier and service for any time period. Using those shipping cost averages a company can then determine when and how it can make free shipping offers. When customers are not ambushed by surprise shipping charges in their shopping cart, research shows they are far more likely to complete the transaction,” concluded Mr. Sansone.
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About Harvey Software, Inc.
Harvey Software is an established, leading developer of globally ready, multi-carrier shipping software solutions, providing businesses with shipping solutions since 1983. Harvey Software's premium shipping solution, the Computerized Parcel System (CPS™) increases profits, boosts domestic and international shipping efficiency, reduces shipping expenses and eliminates the inefficiencies of single carrier software systems. CPS is a FedEx® Compatible Solution, is UPS Ready®, USPS® certified and works with Internet Postage. CPS can be purchased, downloaded, installed, and supported all over the Internet.
For additional information about this release, contact Cary Cobb, Director of Digital Marketing, Harvey Software, Inc., 7050 Winkler Rd. #104, Fort Myers, FL 33919, 800-231-0296, http://www.HarveySoft.com/. We make logistics easy.