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How to Use Shipping as a Marketing Strategy


Pragya Gupta

Content Writer @ Shiprocket

May 17, 2019

6 min read

In today’s digital world, markets have observed a drastic shift. Customers no longer walk into stores grabbing a free cup of coffee or tea and leisurely browse through several products. Indeed, due to constant growth within the eCommerce world, they can purchase everything from the comfort of their homes.

But, it isn’t easy for eCommerce sellers too. Cart abandonment is one of the biggest problems of the sellers in the eCommerce world. The global average rate of cart abandonment is 75.6%.  On top of that, shipping undeniably has a great influence on today’s customer’s buying decisions.

The closest thing that sellers offer their customers to physically experience their products is the packaged delivery box and what’s inside. This implies that your offerings have to be attractive and competitive. At the same time, they must fit into your business needs and strategy as well.

Since shipping and delivery are directly proportional to customer experience and retention, they shouldn’t be taken for granted. You can easily use your shipping policy and as a marketing strategy by improving the delivery and fulfillment experience for the buyer. This can help immensely to bring in new customers and recover lost ones.

Moving on, let’s find out how you can use it as a marketing strategy!

Offer free shipping

The most common reason due to which people abandon their cart is hidden or additional shipping costs. Over 79% of people expect free shipping when they shop online. By offering free shipping, you can reduce the cart abandonment rate of your store. However, shipping can never be free. Someone always has to pay shipping costs, either you or your customers. But, you can offer free shipping to your clients on certain occasions or during certain periods (ranging from 3-5 days in a month) to promote increased sales. You can also ship with solutions like Shiprocket that offer you discounted shipping rates. 

Minimum order amount

Well, offering free delivery is undeniably one of the best ways to increase your conversion rates. But, if you absorb the shipping costs, you will lower down your profit margins. Free shipping may be a feasible option for sellers with large margins. However, for new sellers who have smaller margins on their products, it can become unbearable. And, if you increase the prices of the products to cover the shipping costs, you can damage the competitiveness of your online store. This will affect your conversion rates.

So what should you do?

You can offer free shipping for orders above a minimum order amount. This is a good practice. You can take an average cost by taking into account all the products in your store and then pick a price close to this average amount. For example, offer free shipping only above a purchase amount of Rs. 1,500.

This strategy not only influences the conversion rate but also increases the average order value of an online store. This strategy pushes customers to add more to their shopping carts to reach that minimum order value.

Offer minimum shipping rates

Another amazing way is to plan the shipping rates that you will charge from your customers. Using a rate calculator you can offer minimum shipping rates by planning everything in advance.

Some shopping carts and couriers set up real-time shipping quotes. This implies that your customers can pay exactly what you would pay to ship their products.

Shiprocket offers real-time shipping quotes to the sellers with the help of its rate calculator. You can calculate the rate by entering the parcel’s approximate weight. 

This will help you plan the shipping rate that you would charge from your customers, keeping the delivery pin code in mind. 

You also get an option to ship from a variety of courier partners. You can choose the one which offers you minimum shipping rates thereby reducing your shipping costs.

Offer flat rates

Last but not least, offering flat rates is another popular option. The best practice for this strategy is that you try and opt for a rate that doesn’t drastically undercharge or overcharge your customers. 

You can define flat rates for zones and offer that rate based on the pin code entered by your customer. This strategy will help you save up on your profit margins and also offer standard shipping rates to customers. 

The flat rate works the best when you’ve got a standard product line having a similar size and weights like footwear.

Opt for Hyperlocal Deliveries 

Hyperlocal deliveries are making a comeback. If you have customers who stay within a short radius, you can deliver products to them the same-day or next-day with hyperlocal deliveries.

These quick deliveries can help you establish a positive experience for the customers as they would get their products delivered much faster. As you would eliminate the additional roadblocks, you can easily form many brand advocates who will further promote your products and service among their peers. 

Shiprocket offers hyperlocal deliveries within a 50 km radius within the city. You can ship products like groceries, food, medicines, personal care items, electronics, etc. 

We offer to ship with multiple delivery partners that include Dunzo, Wefast, and Shadowfax. The shipping rates start at Rs. 39/3 km. 

Since the delivery is direct to the customer, you can complete more orders sooner and can impress your customers. Shiprocket has also launched its multilingual hyperlocal delivery app – SARAL. 

With SARAL, local delivery is even more accessible to you as you will be able to process them directly from your mobile phone. Along with the features mentioned above, you will also get the live tracking status for all the shipments that you can also share with your buyer. It will also have a pick and drop feature where you can share almost anything including cards, gifts, flowers, clothes, grocery, food, etc.to your loved ones. 

With these amazing features, you can definitely provide a holistic shopping experience to your buyer. They will be delighted with your shipping & delivery services since it will stand out from competitors and contemporaries. 

The Bottom Line

Shipping is definitely a challenging task for any eCommerce seller. Of course, each business is different and has their unique challenges. Only through testing these strategies over your requirements, you will understand what works best for your business.  

Figure out the variable requirements and uncertainties of your business and curate your shipping strategy. Once you’re done analyzing, test it! Reevaluate and repeat the strategy after some time to deliver the best possible CX at the best possible prices to your customers.

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