|Wed Sept 3 2014 22:08:10|
Can Sellers Afford Not to Offer Free Shipping on Amazon?
By: Ina Steiner
Amazon told its third-party merchants, "We want sellers to think seriously about offering free shipping for all their products" - but is it feasible?
Sellers began talking about a new Free Economy Shipping option on August 19th - see Thursday's Newsflash story for more information. The new Economy option only gives sellers one extra day to get items to buyers compared to Standard shipping, and it provides no shipping credits to sellers to cover costs. (Is there a shipping method that costs significantly less but only takes one day longer to get to customers??)
So what are the advantages to offering free shipping? In its sales pitch, Amazon wrote, "Offering free shipping can increase sales and may help sellers with Professional selling plans compete for the Buy Box."
But what may be more of an incentive for some sellers is this news: "Additionally, Amazon is investing in features to raise customer awareness of offers with free shipping."
That may mean that sellers who do not offer free shipping could find themselves at a significant disadvantage - possibly just as the holiday shopping season ramps up.
Will you be tempted to offer free shipping on Amazon? And if you do, by how much would you raise your prices? Would it be by a flat percent across the board, or would you have to analyze each product individually? If the former, do you use a tool that would allow you to do that in a simple bulk edit?
Please let us know what you think of the new shipping option and what it means for sellers.