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Free Shipping | The Great Dilemma

Shipping freedom was one of the foundations The Coconut Oil Shop built on. Recently, it has become clear to us that customers need to be aware of the costs involved for small orders. Those costs have struck, and continue to strike blows that endanger our free shipping and our three-prong shipping approach.

  • No extra charges for Rural Delivery (RD)
  • The North Island and other islands all had the same shipping charges
  • Free shipping for all

That was a long time ago. We started with NZPost untracked and slow tracked mail. Then we obtained a CourierPost account and that increased our freight charges significantly, but all items could be accounted for, and we didn’t get parcels stolen!

We do have a range of couriers for heavier items. However, in recent times 90% or more of our mail goes through NZPost, and is fully tracked.

The Shotover Shipping Rule

Eventually, the cost of free shipping for low-value items outweighed the benefits to us. So we introduced the $9 shipping rate for low cart totals. (You can place whatever you like in the cart for delivery in New Zealand, but until the total hits the correct amount, there is a $9 freight fee charged.)

The freight costs, as you will be aware, kept on rising. So what do we do? We asked ourselves.

Do we introduce a minimum item number for one of our product lines?

Some online retail outlets require you to buy two or more of some items so that you maximise the benefits of offering those products. It also encourages you to fill up your cart with a higher total shopping cart value.

It was decided that, in fact, that is what we were going to do. So when a customer called up to enquire about that particular item, I announced, soon you’ll not be able to buy only one.

Sacrafice Free Shipping or Minimum Order?

The above decision would have meant we sacrificed the opportunity for customers to buy only one 1L glass jar of Coconut Oil. So instead of one jar, customers would have to order 2, even if they or their friend or family didn’t require it just yet.

We discussed this dilemma with that customer who called us on the phone. They bought two, and said, “I certainly will enjoy the extra jar all the more, internally and externally!!”

While we were on the phone we were surprised to hear just how much free shipping minimum orders are. The shopping cart total amount for some popular online shops is higher than ours. We heard that other health product companies have a minimum order value to qualify for free freight – ranging from $69 to $120.

Introducing Shotover Shipping changes

We said all that to say, there is a new minimum shopping cart total you need to attract free shipping in New Zealand. You can buy only one of anything you like. But if the minimum order is $59.99 or less, you will pay the $9 Shotover Shipping charge.