There’s a tremendous market opportunity for today’s e-commerce furniture sellers but taking advantage of it requires a thoughtful approach to shipping price strategy.
Consider this: The furniture and home furnishings market is one of the fastest growing segments of online retail. This growth is due in large part to American’s increasing comfort with buying oversized items online.
In fact, the uShip report, Realities in Oversized E-Commerce Delivery in the Amazon Era, found that 22 percent of Americans have bought an oversized item online in the past year. Of those people, 34 percent say they are more likely to buy large e-commerce items than they were five years ago.
THE ‘AMAZON EFFECT’ ON DELIVERY PRICING
While consumer appetite for online furniture purchases is growing, shipping costs now play a significant part in the decision about when and where to buy.
In the age of retail giants like Amazon, consumers have come to expect fast, cheap delivery — even when it comes to oversized items such as furniture.
Case in point: The same uShip report found that 47 percent of furniture buyers said high delivery costs caused them to look elsewhere for the same item.
In this environment, having a thoughtfully-designed delivery price strategy is critically important for e-commerce furniture retailers to remain competitive.
FINDING THE RIGHT DELIVERY PRICE STRATEGY
The ideal shipping price approach is cost effective for the seller and meets buyers’ expectations for affordable delivery. But landing on the right shipping rate approach can be challenging.
Displaying high product prices with shipping costs baked in can turn potential buyers away. On the other hand, a free or low set shipping price is more buyer-friendly but may require the seller to cover or subsidize delivery costs, cutting into margins.
As you think about your delivery pricing strategy, it’s important to start with the understanding that while free delivery may seem like the new norm in the online world, there’s no such thing as “free” shipping. It’s just a matter of who pays.
Ultimately, the right pricing approach depends on your specific business. It requires thoughtful consideration of your average sale price, your target market, the uniqueness of your product and the pros and cons of various pricing strategies.
Learn tips and tactics for setting a delivery pricing strategy that works for your online furniture business:
Download the paper, Four Shipping Price Strategies for Your Online Furniture Business.