I love to pay for shipping! Said no one ever.

Shipping is one of the running cost of having an online store which buyers do not want to borne.

Naira is losing value. It is no longer money but currency and shipping costs are increasing. If you choose to charge for shipping, even a nominal fixed amount, like 500 naira, you risk a buyer abandoning his/her cart for free shipping offer from another store.

Offering free shipping on your online store could lead to the risk of losing money on a sale but the landscape is getting increasingly competitive. The big boys in the industry are offering buyer free shipping so why should you charge buyer for shipping an item/order.

The honest truth is that Free Shipping is a key strategic decision that can affect your online store sales and overall bottom line. If you’re a new comer here are few things to consider before offering free shipping to your customers:

1. Cost of Shipping – If the cost of shipping an order is high you better seek alternative means of shipping your orders.

2. Speed and Fast Delivery – Buyers want their orders delivered asap. If free shipping will lead to delays, its better to offer express shipping for a fee. If the buyer really want it bad and fast he/she will pay for express shipping.

3. Pay On Delivery – If you don’t want to declare bankruptcy soon don’t offer free shipping with cash on delivery. If you do, make sure you have enough capital to waste on shipping and returns.

4. Distance – if you must offer free shipping with cash on delivery, make sure you limit the distance to cut your loss. If your store is located in Lagos, you can offer free shipping plus cash on delivery within Lagos and ask buyers outside Lagos to pay ahead if they want to enjoy free shipping. This method help you cut your loss.

The Right Shipping Strategy:

1. Free shipping with no restrictions – This method is guaranteed to boost your online sales and increase conversion rates. But be warn that it will likely reduce your profit margin.

2. Free Shipping with Conditions – This strategy allows buyers to reap the benefits of free shipping while encouraging them to buy more or pay ahead for order on your online store. If they buy more, they save on shipping. This is great for your online store because it increase a customer’s average order value while enhaning your bottom line.

3. Flat Shipping Rate – This is a good alternative to free shipping. Offering your customers a flat rate encouraged them to spend more without worrying about shipping costs increasing with their order size.

4. Customer Pay – You have to be very careful and cautious if you want to use this strategy. It simply implies that you incorporate shipping fee into product price. The implications of this strategy is that your product will be pricey and too expensive thereby discouraging customers from buying.

Most customers look for free shipping before adding product to cart. Experience also show that for whatever reasons, a free shipping that saves a customer 500 naira is more attractive and appealing to many than a discount that cut the purchase price by 1,500 naira.



This post was published to share insights and educate you on how to build a profitable ecommerce business in Nigeria. I like to think it’s useful but I am very sure you have some valuable suggestions that will provide more enrichment to the post.

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