Creating a “free plus shipping” item offer on your Shopify account, otherwise known as dropshipping, can feel a little intimidating at first - it sounds complicated.
Not to worry - here is a complete step-by-step guide on how to set one up, with simple and easy to follow instructions, with all credit and a huge thanks to a fantastic video tutorial from Arie Scherson over on Youtube.
Why try dropshipping?
It’s a great way to collect emails and gain subscribers for your mailing list and boost your eCommerce opportunities, or a fantastic way for a beginner to get started with building their store.
Prepare to be inundated with retargeting opportunities!
Step One - Choose Your Item
Decide which product you’re going to offer up for free, with the customer only paying the cost of delivery.
Make it a good one that lots of people will be interested in - there’s no point in an enticing offer if you’re buying something boring!
Step Two - Create The Listing
Go ahead and set up the product’s listing in the way you normally would on Shopify.
When it comes to price, be sure to set the value at $0, then don’t forget to put a good ‘Compared To’ price, being a little generous so the customer feels even more tempted.
Step Three - Amend Your Shipping Settings
Go ahead and click on Settings, then Shipping. You’re going to want to amend this for both domestic and international shipping, so don’t forget to go back and do the other one once you’re finished!
First things first, you’re going to want to go to the Weight Based Rates section, not Price Based. Add your first rate, giving it a catchy title - you might want to suggest that shipping is premium or insured, in order to make sure the buyer feels secure when buying from you.
For the first rate, go ahead and input the Minimum Order Weight and Maximum Order Weight as a value of 0.2 - yes, both of them. This is crucial for the offer to work!
Now input the rate amount for buying one product - choose an appropriate cost. The average Shopify shipping price is $9.99 but it’s up to you.
It depends on how heavy the item is (and therefore how much it will actually cost you to sell!) as well as the profit margin for what you’re selling based on the cost of shipping.
Top tip: if you’re not getting many sales but plenty of visitors to your store, either your price is too high or your product description isn’t very good!
Okay, this next step is IMPORTANT. There will be people who may take advantage of this free plus shipping offer and order more than one. To combat this and ensure you still make a profit, you need to add MULTIPLE shipping rates, to account for multiple products.
For example, your second rate could be a Minimum Order Weight and Maximum Order Rate of 0.4 with the rate of shipping set at $14.99 - be sure to give it the same title as your previous rate but clearly state it is for two products.
Now for the tedious part: go ahead and repeat that process for the hypothetical purchase of three and four products just in case.
Sure, it’s boring, but if you take these precautions, customers won’t be able to buy way too many items at once to benefit from savings and totally ruin your profit making potential in the process.
Remember to increase the shipping for each product added by around 30 percent, and be sure you have plenty of rates set in place because otherwise, you may end up losing money!
Once you’re done with Domestic, you need to go and complete the same process for the Rest Of The World shipping option, remembering to go to Weight Based Rates and not Price Based Rates.
Step Four - Important Final Step - Do Not Miss!
If you don’t perform this key part of the process, the whole thing will not work!
Return to your original product listing and type in the weight you added for purchasing just one of the products - the example given was 0.2, and following a pattern of even numbers for buying two, three and four products, or 0.4, 0.6 and 0.8 respectively, will ensure everything works correctly.
Step Five - Amend your product description.
Once all of that is done and dusted, everything should be ready to go, and your product price should be listed as $0!
Now it’s time to ensure the customers will click buy once they’ve made it to the item listing, being sure to use all of the typical SEO language and persuasive techniques.
If you really wanted to push things further, you could suggest only the next fifty or so of your products are going to be free with the buyer just covering the cost of shipping, to give a sense of urgency to the situation.
Then when they scroll back up to see how many products are left, they’ll see that some have been bought already (if you’ve added a countdown, that is, but that’s a different tutorial!) and hurry to purchase before they miss out on the deal.
The key to dropshipping is to offer 100% guaranteed refunds and clearly state this in the description, or the buyer will be put off by the lack of security and suspect there is a scam afoot. Of course, there isn’t, but they don’t know that!
Perhaps give yourself a time barrier of a few weeks to ship and mention there is high demand, so the customer expects a little waiting before their item arrives. And there you have it! Free plus shipping on Shopify, done easy.
Method not working? Go to Settings, then Shipping and see if there is a Default Package Weight under the Packages subheading. Be sure to set this to 0.0 as there may be a default measurement throwing out your product price!