Home > Shipping, Small Business Marketing > “Free Shipping” Holiday Promos Can Eat Web Retailer Margins

“Free Shipping” Holiday Promos Can Eat Web Retailer Margins

September 24th, 2014

If there is one thing that online consumers respond to besides sales during the holiday season, it’s free shipping.  free_shipping4A 2008 survey by Forrester Research showed that 75 percent of shoppers prefer to buy from sites that offer free shipping, a jump from 61 percent in 2007.  This holiday season, 73 percent of consumers told Google that they would be taking advantage of free shipping at their favorite web retailers when buying gifts for friends and family.

Free shipping may entice sales, but the shipping itself isn’t free for the web retailer mailing the products.  Instead of the shipping costs being paid by customer, the web retailer must now absorb those additional costs from their profit margin.  During a down economy, it makes sense for ecommerce site owners to look for the most economical shipping option to fulfill your customers’ holiday wishes of free shipping.  Where can you find a reliable, yet inexpensive carrier to handle your shipping needs this holiday season?

The good old US Postal Service, of course.

“FREE SHIPPING” cost you less with the USPS and Stamps.com
How can you save money by shipping with the USPS through Stamps.com?

  • 10 percent off on package insurance
  • Insure packages up to $2,500 in value
  • Up to 11 percent off Priority Mail retail rates
  • Up to 8 percent off on International Mail classes
  • Free Delivery Confirmation for Priority Mail packages

And, unlike UPS and FedEx, the US Postal Service doesn’t charge for residential deliveries or fuel surcharges.  The US Postal Service also offers free packaging supplies for Priority Mail packages and will pick up parcels from your business for no charge.

Ecommerce made easy… Import Sales Order Data Directly from eBay, Amazon and More
Stamps.com is a great option for web retailers who want to take full advantage of the cost savings the US Postal Service can deliver.   Stamps.com software even allows web retailers to import sales order data directly from popular online marketplaces including eBay, Yahoo! Stores, Amazon.com, Google Checkout or PayPal Shops.   Once the data is imported into Stamps.com, the shipping manager can batch print up to 1,000 shipping labels at a time or pick and choose individual labels to print.  The Stamps.com software will also match all the address data to the USPS database to prevent any undeliverable addresses prior to the package being sent out.

For web retailers using Amazon and eBay, Stamps.com will also post- back the package tracking data and costs into the sellers account.

It’s time to rethink your holiday shipping.
When retailers combine the services of the USPS with the ease and  convenience of Stamps.com, they have a powerful tool that reduces the  impact FREE SHIPPING offers can have on their bottom line.

  1. March 17th, 2010 at 19:04 | #1

    I guess people really are that naive that shipping is free when it is just built into the COST of goods sold.

  2. Eric Nash
    December 4th, 2009 at 10:58 | #2

    Unfortunately, insurance is not available for international packages via the Stamps.com software.

    USPS Insurance is available for international packages at the Post Office. The availability and amount of indemnity varies from country to country, so this USPS service may not always be available for your country of destination.

    For more information regarding USPS Insurance for International Postage, we recommend the following link:

    Stamps.com hopes to offer International Insurance in future software updates (this is a very popular request).

  3. Alex
    December 2nd, 2009 at 15:48 | #3

    How about insuring international packages though? I can’t find any support for this in stamps.com but the post office says they offer this service.

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