Free As In Shipping

People don’t like surprise fees, don’t like being nickle and dimed, and don’t like to pay for shipping.

Simple pricing, bags fly free, give me a set of easy to understand options – that’s the world smart marketers live in today.

free shippingPricing your goods and services has actually become very easy these days as long as you understand the ideas above. Create a good, better, best set of prices, point people towards the better option as the most popular, and that’s it. Yes, you may have to absorb the shipping expense, but somehow paying a higher price for the goods with no shipping seems better than paying the same amount broken into two. Free shipping also allows you to promote something for free. Pricing is a bit of a perception game.

Charging for things like shipping is quickly becoming a thing of the past if you want to compete.

I participated in a round of conferences for eBay this year and one of the hottest topics was the dramatic impact free shipping as an option had on sales. Yesterday Wal-Mart announced it was offering free shipping on online purchases for the holiday – a move that I suspect will linger into next year and beyond.

Look at your pricing and look for ways to simplify and unclutter – the good, better, best approach, with no add-on fees is a great place to start.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Sps

    I’d be interested to know what the financials are in the Wal-Mart scenario; for example, are they writing off the $XXX million they’ll lose on the transaction costs as “marketing expenses,” or have they squeezed their supplier and shipping vendors enough to make up the difference? This would be a really interesting case study from a value-chain perspective, as the implications will ripple through out.

    • ducttape

      Great point and if history serves as any guide the vendors are picking up the bulk of this expense.

  • Madeline Ong

    You’re right. As a customer, I want things like pricing and support to be as simple for me as possible. I’d like to add that even with a simple system, presentation is also important. If there’s a way you can present or explain a pricing system (or service packages, or shipping/delivery scheme) so that prospective customers can understand it at a glance, all the better.

    • ducttape

      I agree Maddy – a lot of online folks have adopted a pricing model like this – (not pitch this, just a good example) and I think any business can create this kind of tiered approach.

      I like Dan Ariely’s book – Predictably Irrational and his take on simple pricing