Free and Fast Shipping – High in Demand among Consumers, Low in Supply among Kuwait Online Shopping Retailers
If you are a Kuwait online shopping retailer, it is imperative that you understand that, according to studies, consumers now not only desire free shipping, but, fast shipping, too! Unfortunately, free and fast shipping – though, high in demand among consumers – is exceptionally low in supply among retailers that offer products on the World Wide Web within Kuwait, and other Middle East regions. In today’s world, there are numerous online retailers – such as Amazon.com and ShopRunner that have had a large hand in training consumers to expect the delivery of the merchandise that they order online in exceptionally short periods of time – such as two days. In the near future, it is expected that other major online retailers, such as eBay, Amazon, and even Google Inc., are going to start offering inexpensive same-day deliveries. As a result of this information, it is imperative that, if you specialize in online shopping in Kuwait, that you take the steps that are necessary to offer free and fast shipping services. If you are unable to offer free shipping, you should – at the very least – make strides to offer fast shipping. In doing so, it is quite likely that you are sure to see your sales increase, dramatically.
The Problems Associated with Free and Fast Shipping Services
While it is true that, by offering free and fast shipping services, it will increase your sales as an online retailer, there are a few problems associated with these services. The major online retailers are offering free and fast shipping, and, as a result, customers now expect this when making purchases online. For example, there is a company called, “Vitacost” that allows consumers to have free shipping on orders that have a total cost of $49.00 or higher. In addition to this, the company promises their customers that, if they make their orders by 1pm on weekdays, the delivery of those items will occur in as little as one day or as long as four days – which is still exceptionally fast to customers. Naturally, this proves to be very challenging to other e-commerce-based companies. Why is that, you may ask. It is quite simple. It is a challenging endeavor to effectively control shipping-related costs and avoiding the absolute need to add centers that specialize in fulfillment in order to speed up the order processing and delivery cycle.
In addition to the challenge of speeding up the order processing and delivery cycle, adding free and fast shipping services as a Kuwait online retailer may result in the following complications:
- In order to offer free and fast shipping services, many Kuwait online retailers would have to purchase, lease, or rent a building that would act as a dedicated order fulfillment center. For many businesses, the expenses in doing this would be quite overwhelming.
- Despite the fact that many e-retailers are discovering ways to effectively reduce the costs associated with the order fulfillment process and the fees associated with delivering merchandise to consumers, most companies experience an increase in costs of up to 10% in the first year.
- In many instances, Kuwait businesses that offer free and fast shipping must undergo the process of handling orders immediately as they are placed in order to get those orders to customers as quickly as major online retailers. Not only does this have the ability to overwhelm the retailer, but, it has the ability to require additional manpower and increase expenses pertaining to shipping supplies and travel costs associated with shipping. All of this equals additional costs.
- If free and fast shipping services are offered by Kuwait online retailers, then, those same retailers must also add free return services should the consumer have any dissatisfaction associated with their purchase. This, of course, would incur additional expenses.
- In periods where there is a surge in online orders in Kuwait, shipments could be delayed – despite online advertised cut-off dates. In the Christmas season of 2013, for example, approximately one third of the top e-retailers in the North American region failed to get products to their customers in time for them to be distributed for Christmas gifts. This happened because of late cut-off dates, and weather complications that impacted delivery companies.
Free and Fast, or, Just Free or Fast
As a Kuwait online retailer, it is important for you to determine if you want to face the potential expenses and complications associated with free and fast shipping, or, if it is in your best interest to focus on either free shipping or fast shipping. Naturally, if you can avoid the problems that were previously outlined in this guide, you should always try to opt for free and fast shipping, as this will provide you with the competitive edge that you need to thrive as a Kuwait e-retailer; however, if you are unable to accomplish both, it is important to understand that nearly 70% of all consumers would prefer free shipping to fast shipping. If you find that it would be challenging to offer both free and fast shipping as a Kuwait internet retailer, it is in your best interest to try to offer free shipping and avoid the strain of pushing your company to deliver faster. In doing so, you are likely to avoid many of the previously mentioned challenges. In addition to this, your online customers will be happy and you are sure to see an increase in profits.
Minimal Purchase Amounts
As a Kuwait internet retailer, it is difficult to offer free shipping on all items purchased. One way to overcome this difficulty is to only offer free shipping on minimal purchase amounts. This will make it much easier for your business to absorb some of the costs associated with such an endeavor. In most instances, the minimum order purchase amount should be $50.00 before free shipping is offered. In other instances, you may require higher minimal purchase amounts, such as $75.00, $100.00, $150.00, and even $200.00. If you want to offer faster shipping times, you may add the options for the consumer to choose. For example, if they want it in a week, then, make shipping free. If they require it in 4-5 days, then add $5.00 on shipping. If they want it in 2-3 days, add $10.00. If you are an online retailer in Kuwait, this may be your best option for keeping up with the major online retailers that offer both free and fast shipping. Only, with this strategy, you do not experience such high costs, you are able to absorb some of the costs, and your consumers remain happy with your shipping costs and the speed of the delivery of the products that they have a desire to order from your business.
There is one way, as a Kuwait online retailer, that you may have the ability to offer both free shipping and fast shipping. That is, to charge an annual membership fee. This seems to be a productive measure for the retailer known as, “ShopRunner”. For the customers at this retailer, they simply pay $79.00 annually and they are able to receive their orders within a two day time frame. You have the ability to charge just about any type of membership fee that you desire, but, it must be reasonable in order to be attractive to your consumers.
Consumers are now demanding free shipping and fast shipping. Unfortunately, though the demand is high, there are not too many Kuwait online shopping retailers that are offering these services. This is mostly because of all of the challenges that occur when an online shopping retailer elects to offer free and fast shipping. The good news is, there are many innovative methods of offering customers free shipping, reduced shipping, and fast shipping. These methods include offering free shipping on minimum purchase amounts, having the customer add fees to their orders in order to receive their merchandise faster, and even implementing annual membership fees for faster delivery. If you are an online shopping retailer in Kuwait, you should consider one of these options in order to enhance your competitive edge in your market. In doing so, you will not only develop an exceptionally large customer base, you will find that your online retail sales increase dramatically.