Should You Offer Free Shipping?

Okay, so people don't want to pay for shipping, right? Even me and you, right?! Everyone loves free shipping!

I've noticed a few owners talking about free shipping vs. charging for shipping and whether it makes a difference to their online sales, so I think we need to talk about it. First, let's dive into how "free shipping" works (and how to make it work for you!)

Generally (and remember, the same things don't work for everyone!), it's better to have a slightly more expensive product and offer free shipping rather than low-cost products with expensive shipping. It's just a psychological thing that people don't want to pay for shipping.

Now of course, you still need to make a profit on each sale so you want to work the cost of the shipping into the cost of the product and set your pricing from there (usually X3 or as close to as possible).
So for example, if the item costs $10 and the shipping is $6, that would be $16 X 3 (markup)= so the price is $48 with "free shipping".
(Try and aim for X3 - I know it's not always as simple with more expensive items, but that should be the goal! Cost X3 + shipping also works!)

Now let's talk about adding a free shipping threshold (so like "Free Shipping when you spend $50 or more")
Let's say you decide to add a threshold for your free shipping - a great place to start is by looking at your Average Order Value over the last 3 to 6 months and trying to aim your threshold a few dollars more than that.
So, say your current AOV is $91. You could set your free shipping threshold at $100 and see how that affects your cart totals!

If you decide to change for shipping, I recommend no more than $5. I'm not saying you can't charge more, but you will get to a point where the shipping costs put people off - even if the product is a really good price.
(You can also use Shopify shipping profiles to create rules around shipping costs for heavier items like shoes or candles, so those items incur, say a $10-$15 shipping cost while clothes are just $5.)

Again, like everything else, how you charge (or "don't charge") for shipping is trial and error. I think sometimes people get caught up thinking that making changes will rock all kinds of boats, but I say you gotta try different things, and use the data to make better decisions. Otherwise how will you ever learn what's going to work for YOUR store?

Let's say you were offering free shipping on all orders, and you introduce a $75 free shipping threshold, and you see your order values increasing - well, then you know it's working right?

It's all about being intentional with the changes you make, tying it into a goal (like aiming to increase your Average Cart Total), and figuring out how you will monitor if the changes you make work or not!

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