[MUSIC PLAYING] A shipping strategy can make or break you at any time of year, whether it's during peak season or not. But there are a ton of great shipping strategies you can use to make your customers happy and even increase your orders. So let's dive in. When you're building your shipping strategy, it's important to think hard about what you'll charge your customers for shipping and how they'll get their orders from you.
The right approach will depend on you and your business. Free shipping. Offering free shipping is a good way to improve conversion rates without solely relying on a percentage or dollar discount. But the reality is, offering free shipping isn't always affordable. Even with the discounted rates, you get when you ship using Shopify shipping. So to make it work for you, you need to understand how offering free shipping affects your margins and your out-of-pocket costs.
Things like what it costs to ship your heaviest items or furthest destinations. But always on free shipping isn't your only choice. You could offer it only when a certain amount is spent or turn it on for short periods of time to encourage more customers to shop. Flat rate shipping. If you want to offset some of your shipping costs and still avoid sticker shock when customers check out, a flat rate shipping policy could be a good fit.
Set a price that will cover your shipping costs most of the time, but be ready to pay more on your end if the occasional order falls outside of that flat fee. Like the heavier or long distance scenario. Exact cost shipping. With exact cost shipping, there are no surprises. Customers can see and pay for size shipping costs when they check out.
And if you use Shopify's carrier calculated rates at checkout, your customer will get the same discounted shipping rates that you get. Consider offering international shipping. You might not be shipping internationally right now because it seems complicated and expensive. But it's not as tricky as you might think. Plus, customers are becoming more and more likely to shop outside of their borders so if you're considering expanding your audience, an international shipping strategy is a great way to do it.
And when you purchase international shipping labels through Shopify shipping, all of the customs forms and details you need are automatically generated for you. See, not as tricky as you might think. Offer local delivery and local pick-up. Local delivery and local pick-up can be powerful ways to connect with your community. You can create thoughtful shopping experiences for local customers, and it'll also help generate sales.
There's also a ton of benefits for your customers as it's a convenient way to get what they want quickly without stepping into a store. With local delivery, customers who are close by can buy your products online and have you deliver them directly through their door. And with local pickup, your customer can pre-order online and then come into your store to pick it up.
Sometimes without even leaving their vehicle. Consider offering returns. Something else to think about is returns. If you're thinking about offering a return option, there are few standard ways. Your customer can pay the full cost of the return shipping, you can pay the full cost of the return shipping, or a combination of the two.
A combination strategy can be the best way to set expectations and make your customers feel confident with their returns. Offering a flat rate for return shipping is similar to the flat rate shipping we talked about earlier. With this strategy, you can offer a return shipping option where it gets split between you and your customer. It's a good compromise for your customers and they know exactly how much the return will cost them before they buy.
To figure out which shipping option is the best for your business, it boils down to a few key questions. Which options work for you cost-wise? This includes how often you anticipate getting a return as well as general information about your margins and shipping costs. Which options do you want to offer? This will depend on your competitive environment and customer strategy as well.
Every shipping strategy is different and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Remember, you can keep tweaking, updating, and adjusting. Happy shipping. [MUSIC PLAYING]