Free delivery is a challenging issue
We have been talking to our customers and the common theme is “we buy from Amazon because of free delivery” , this is a bit of a problem for us as we don't sell on Amazon ( the reason for this is a very long and complicated historical fight with Amazon over a pack of 10 trays, but I digress) but it became obvious that we had to offer free delivery to stay in business ( we really do think its the crucial).
The problem part
We have tried free delivery in the past but it was a massive failure as it meant we had to send our items by the cheapest option ( Royal Mail 2nd class) and we absorbed the costs and it was a total failure.
About 25% of everything we sent was lost or delayed so we would have to send replacements by next day delivery to make up for the delay, so essentially we paid twice, this led to huge losses and huge rises in shipping costs (and some very annoyed customers), so we abandoned it for a Royal Mail tracked delivery which has been mainly positive ( loss and damages are less than 5%).
So it proves the point, you get what you pay for, so we couldn't send the item by the cheapest option but we had to find some solution.
The solution part, we hope
The real problem is how do you manage to keep postage costs low for a customer that expects free delivery, as postage is a big cost (about 18 to 50% of the cost of the item, depending on the order quantity) and still sell our products in quantities as low as 10 items and not send it 2nd class (or as we call it lost or late mail), now this was the real challenge.
So our solution is that we will keep the box prices as low as possible but the cost of shipping for smaller quantities will have 75% of the cost of shipping (we absorb 25%) added, it's not a perfect solution but it's the only solution we have come up with.
Is free delivery really essential
We did a bit of research and found people hate paying delivery, so we have decided to try something a bit risky and try free tracked delivery, so here is the trial, if it doesn't work we will go back to the old you pay £3.95 or £7.95 method but we think this may work.
We will either encourage more businesses and people to make the change to a sustainable option, so here goes , sustainable future or bankruptcy here we come.
Let us know what you think, have we gone mad or does it make a difference to you and your business.