We hear it a lot. Our shipping is expensive. And we know that shipping costs can figure prominently in purchasing decisions. As recently as November 2013, 85% of online consumers polled by the National Retail Federation said that free shipping would be important or very important in their online holiday purchases. In an earlier study, Forrester Research cited lack of free shipping as the number-one reason consumers abandon their online shopping carts.
Free shipping. There’s no denying the power of those words. But when are they exactly the wrong reason for making a purchasing decision? And is buying wholesale always the wrong time to make them a deal breaker?
Free Is Rarely Free
You don’t have to read much to know free shipping is rarely free. In many cases, when it’s offered, the costs of shipping are simply built into the price of the product. In other cases, shipping is spread across a number of other costs. In the end, online retailers offer free shipping to get you to buy from them, not someone else. Retailers also know that when they offer free shipping, customers tend to buy more products than they originally planned. Free shipping is good business.
When It’s the Right Reason. When It’s Not
It’s not always a trick, though. If you’re shopping for a Blu-ray player, and you find the exact same model and price everywhere, but one retailer offers to ship it for free, that’s when free shipping should influence, even make, your decision.
But there are other times when it shouldn’t. One of those times is when you’re buying wholesale rather than retail. Expecting free shipping just because you’re shopping online can lead to missing the best overall deal and the best product. That’s especially true for products that weigh a lot and for products that are one of a kind. Thousands of retailers sell Sony Blu-ray players. No one but us makes our wholesale organic soap.
True, Upfront Costs
At Botanie, we answer the shipping question all the time. Soap is heavy. It costs a lot to ship. Rather than hiding or shading the numbers, we keep them upfront and separate, so our customers can manage costs for themselves. In wholesale, practicality and transparency are more valuable than merchandising.
Be Discerning. Don’t Settle.
Sometimes it’s a great thing, but free shipping isn’t always what it seems and shouldn’t be expected everywhere. Those who do expect it might find a screaming deal every so often, but they risk settling for inferior products simply because they were promised something big for nothing.