Life is about choices. Being blinded with options is never a good thing but sometimes we definitely need to be able to make the choice we want.
Shipping is expensive for small companies like us, if you saw how much we spend on postage, packaging and fulfilment you would probably have a small heart attack.
Typically postage dents heavily into our profit margins. Consider also that if a customer buys the wrong size we happily send out a replacement – free of charge – and you can see how profits can start to slide away. Larger companies have massive volume and hence have economies of scale on their side. We’re still small, and happy to be so, but it means this is a big spend for us.
But people expect free shipping these days. I know I do when I shop.
Lots of companies have a “free shipping on orders over £xx”. We had it too, for a long time. In theory it makes sense – when a customer spends over £50 or so the profit is larger (theoretically – although not always in practice) and so the cost of shipping is more palatable to absorb.
But the trouble is – if you see a t-shirt or cap (or other relatively inexpensive item) that you really, really love and you are happy with the price and service on offer it can still come as a major disappointment at the cart when you have to stump up an extra £3 or so just to receive it.
That shipping may add an extra 15-20% to your order total. And you may be paying for too high a service, when a slower, cheaper service may serve you perfectly well.
The real issue here is that it doesn’t correctly reflect your shopping needs. Consider the following typical scenarios…
- You’ve seen a t-shirt, you simply have to own it and you want it on your back by the weekend
- You need to buy something for your buddies birthday. You’ve seen a t-shirt and you know he’ll love it, but his birthday is tomorrow
- You’ve seen a t-shirt, you really love it but are in no rush to get it. Perhaps you might ask someone to get for your birthday next month
All scenarios feature the same t-shirt, it costs £25. On most sites (as was the case for us for a long time) it falls short of the free shipping threshold. So no matter what your need is – you pay one price for shipping. That doesn’t seem right to me. It’s inefficient, something that doesn’t sit well with me.
More Options = More Power
So now we have 3 simple options at the checkout…
- 3-4 business days: this is our free option – no matter if you are only spending £5, you can still get free shipping. Granted it will take longer but certainly not a lifetime. And it costs us less too, so we can continue to do business, and continue to serve your needs.
- 1-2 business days: this is our priority service and if you order on a weekday before 4pm it will be there within 48 hours, though in most cases it will be less than 24 hours
- Next Day: this is our premium next day service. Order before 4pm on a weekday and you will have it the next working day. Simple.
These options satisfy many different use cases and fundamentally, they put you in control of your costs. For the time being, this is for UK customers only, but we are working on reliable options for EU, USA and indeed Worldwide.
Hopefully you appreciate what we are trying to achieve here – a means of giving you more power & control whilst still keeping ourselves in the black – not an easy balance! As always I’m happy to hear your feedback.
p.s. we have an “Easter Egg Hunt” coming up this week… BIG vouchers will be hidden around the site. Be sure to join the newsletter to get the clues and locations…