Can You Make Free Shipping Work for Online Store?

For savvy online shoppers, finding “free shipping” is like discovering buried treasure. But can shipping really be free? Someone has to pay that shipping charge, and if you’re experimenting with the phrase “free shipping” in your marketing plan, that someone is bound to be you.

Still, it’s an enticing strategy. ComScore reports that 72 percent of online shoppers prefer free shipping.

For small merchant, the unfortunate truth is that free shipping can put a heavy burden on your profit margins. Unfortunately, if you change your product price to reflect that additional shipping fee, you’ll could drive smart shoppers, aka comparison shoppers, away from your store. BUT The Wharton Report finds that a handful of shoppers, about 30%, will pay more for a product if free shipping is included.

So what’s the best way to incorporate free shipping? If you can afford it, a short-term promotion to current customers or a “free shipping” coupon code posted on coupon websites is a great way to drive more traffic and convert more sales.

Another way you can incorporate free shipping into your sales process is to develop complementary shipping strategies for large orders. Again, this is simply a process of weighing your profit margins and how free shipping on large orders affects your rate of returning shoppers.

The big stores will always be able to offer free shipping. Remember that there are benefits to buying through a small-to-medium size shop for the customer; you can always tout those benefits in your marketing to beat out big-store competition.

To learn how to offer free sipping with 3dcart read our blog post here:

FreeShippingNicetoHaveorEssentialforPurchase 4eb8492028efd 455x1024 Can You Make Free Shipping Work for Online Store?

Old Time Candy Named One Of The “Hot 100 E-Retailers of 2012”

Internet Retailer today named Old Time Candy to its “Hot 100 E-Retailers of 2012” list, an annual collection of retailers who have broken new ground in the past year in ways that other retailers can learn from. Old Time Candy’s online store, dedicated to selling retro candies like Wax Lips, Ice Cube Chocolates and more, is built on 3dcart ecommerce software.Screen shot 2011 12 06 at 9.45.40 AM Old Time Candy Named One Of  The Hot 100 E Retailers of 2012”

“Old Time Candy Co. turned an old, clunky site into a sleek, rich entertainment,” Internetmag glass 10x10 Old Time Candy Named One Of  The Hot 100 E Retailers of 2012” Retailer wrote about the online candy store. “Old Time Candy enables shoppers to personalize the tops of candy boxes with their custom messages and images. And, recognizing that this is a perfect gift, the e-retailer offers an unusual service: a staff member will handwrite a gift card, adding a truly personal touch.”

“We knew Old Time Candy required a much more dynamic platform, so we made the switch to 3dcart in 2010,” said Don Bridge, co-owner of Old Time Candy. “Since then, we’ve had a much easier time managing our business on the backend while giving our customers a unique, well-designed experience on the front end.”

Since switching to 3dcart, Bridge cites the ability to control and automate the shopping experience, from ordering to shipping, as a huge time saver for the organization. As a result, Old Time Candy has more time to focus on outstanding customermag glass 10x10 Old Time Candy Named One Of  The Hot 100 E Retailers of 2012” service—a feature of the store that Bridge and his staff see as a huge priority and a big differentiator from competing stores.

“We’re always impressed when we see customers using our software to drive a unique online shopping experience, but Old Time Candy is one of our favorites,” said 3dcart CEO Gonzalo Gil. “One of the strengths of our software is customizability, and many of our customers take advantage of that, pushing out great examples of successful online stores.”

To view the full Internet Retailer write-up on Old Time Candy, visit

Multi-Channel Selling with Shopping Networks

If you don’t have a multi-channel selling strategy, your brand isn’t getting enough exposure. You can’t always count on organic search customers if you want to grow your business; shopping networks give you the ability to expose your brand to new customers through trusted channels.

What exactly is a shopping network? Small eCommerce brands can sell through big brands like Amazon, eBay and Overstock, shopping networks that fill a variety of roles for online shopping enthusiasts.

Below are three key types of shopping networks that you should consider in the planning of your multi-channel selling strategy.

Public Marketplaces

amazon ads600x352 Multi Channel Selling with Shopping Networks
Amazon, eBay and Overstock are public marketplaces that allow online stores to sell directly through their sites. By selling your stock through these websites, you gain the ability to expose more customers to your brand through a trusted channel, funneling more targeted search results directly to your products. To sell through Amazon, go here. The cost is pretty fair: only $39.99 a month (plus referral fee) to expose more customers to your brand and convert more sales.

Comparison Shopping Sites

 Multi Channel Selling with Shopping Networks
With the abundance of shopping outlets on the web, comparison shopping websites emerged a few years ago to help shoppers make more informed decisions about their purchases. As long as your products are fairly priced, your brand will get great exposure when potential customers search products you sell. For example, PriceGrabber, an established comparison shopping site, logs more than 26 million unique monthly visitors.

Coupon Sites

Coupon 101 Multi Channel Selling with Shopping Networks

If you have a promotion strategy in place, coupon websites are great places to highlight special deals, coupons and rebates. CouponWinner is a site dedicated entirely to sharing deals from partner stores with online shoppers. To create your own custom page with CouponWinner, it’ll only set you back $9.95 a month, a reasonable price to pay to expose more shoppers to your store.

tCommerce: Tablet eCommerce

As the tablet market continues to grow so does its affect on eCommerce. Mobile commerce or mCommerce is increasingly becoming a bigger part of eCommerce and tablets are primed so soon become the leader in mCommerce.

Some surprising facts:

  • 20% of all mobile eCommerce sales come from tablets.
  • 60% of tablet owners have purchased online using their tablet.
  • Tablet users spend an average of one hour and 35 minutes on their devices.
  • Owners typically spend 10-20% more on purchases than shoppers without tablets.
  • Mobile commerce is expected to increase to $31 billion in the U.S. by by 2016. Quite a jump from only $3 billion in 2010.

If you’re interesting in even more interesting tablet commerce ( Tcommerce?) check out the infographic below!

 tCommerce: Tablet eCommerce
Infographic by Vertic