Friday, March 18, 2011

Are you REALLY selling nationally?

Are you REALLY selling nationally?
Are you marketing nationally but most sales are local? A recent caller from the New York City area suddenly realized this. He called because he wanted a shipping system to let him change from just using a just single carrier to using a choice of carriers. But before long he brought up his 50-60% cart abandonment rate. He also said he charges his customers his exact shipping amount so he does not "screw" people (gotta love NYC!) by charging them more than his actual carrier shipping cost.

Next, we talked about his markets. “Do you want to sell your products to people in Florida?” He said "Yes!" "California?" "Yes!" He knows his shipping costs are higher to ship to Florida or California vs. a customer in New York. As he talked, he started to realize that when he makes his products more expensive to customers who are farther away, he makes his business local or maybe regional, but not national. His “Ah Ha!” moment what when he made the observation that when he shops at stores in his area, it would be strange if they asked where he lives, then charged him a different amount compared to another customer living closer or farther away.

As we talked, he could really see that when he makes his products more expensive nationally than locally, it limits his market and leads to a primary cause of abandoned carts – the unpleasant shipping cost surprise.

"How do I get around this?" he asked. I suggested that he offer flat rate shipping for ground and air service to make his prices look competitive nationally. Then he should monitor his average charges on a weekly and monthly basis to determine if he needs to adjust his flat rate prices. Besides increasing his national sales since shipping costs will be the same for all, he also thought that it would be much easier to maintain shipping process at his web site.

Are you where he is? Next time, part 2 - an easy way to discover the right "flat rate" price to charge for your shipping, then use it to simplify web site shipping cost calculations and gain more sales. A hint? The shipping system is a key component in this. Our CPS(TM) shipping software helps with both of these. To get more information now about CPS, visit

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