Free shipping

Many stores offer free shipping for their customers to keep the shipping settings simple, encourage sales, and help with marketing. Some suppliers also offer free shipping. It can be a good strategy to search for products to sell from suppliers who offer free shipping to pass on the shipping savings to customers.

Create a free shipping strategy

Before you add a free shipping rate to your Shopify shipping settings, review the following.

Know how much it costs to send products to your customers

See Check the shipping costs you pay your supplier.

Decide where to offer a free shipping rate

Choose which countries or shipping regions you want to offer free shipping to based on how much it costs to send products to each country. If you need to change the regions you ship to, then see Shipping zones.

Reevaluate your product prices

Although free shipping is great for your customers, it can heavily decrease your profit margins.

If you receive an order that contains products from four different suppliers, then you are charged four separate shipping rates but your customer is charged only one shipping rate. If the one shipping rate you give a customer is a free shipping rate, then those four separate shipping charges from your suppliers can lower your profit for that order. If this results in a negative profit margin for that order, then this can cause some businesses to reach out to customers with a second invoice to cover the unexpected shipping costs.

A common strategy to avoid these losses is to add a shipping cost to the product price itself. By adding the cost to the product and offering free shipping, it helps your customers see exactly how much the product costs to get to them, and prevents any extra invoices for surprise shipping costs.

Decide if you want to store products yourself

Another strategy to maintain your profit margins on orders with many products from different suppliers is to bulk order products to your own location so that you have inventory available. When a customer orders products from different suppliers, you can then package and ship out the products yourself because you have some on hand.

The benefits of this method are that you can control the branding for the package you send out, the customer receives all their items at once, and you only need to pay for one shipping rate.

Create free shipping rates

After you decide which shipping zones should have a free shipping strategy, you need to add a free shipping rate to those zones. For instructions on how to add a free shipping rate, see Free shipping. If you want shipping to be free for all orders, then set the Minimum order price or Minimum order weight to 0. If you want free shipping only over a certain weight or value in the cart, then set the Minimum order price or Minimum order weight to the minimum threshold you want.

For example, if you wanted to offer free shipping on orders only above $50, then you would set the Minimum order price to be $50. Alternatively, if you wanted to offer free shipping for orders that contained four or more products, you can make each product weight 1 lb and then create a free shipping rate with the Minimum order weight set to 4 lbs.

Make sure to have either a Single flat rate or Tiered flat rates if your free shipping is set to only be above a certain weight or value.

For example, if you offer free shipping over $50, then make sure you have a single flat rate or tiered flat rates to provide shipping rates for orders below $50.

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