April 21, 2011, 12:28 PM

How to compete with free shipping without breaking the bank

An IRCE speaker will give tips on negotiating shipping contracts and other strategies.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Lead Photo

Tim Sailor

While free shipping can win over online shoppers, the costs to retailers can cut into profit margins. But with the right mix of planning and advantageous contracts with carriers, retailers can find ways to make free shipping an effective part of their fulfillment, marketing and customer relationship management strategies, says Tim Sailor, founder and principal of Navigo Consulting Group.

He will offer tips on how to make free shipping a cost-effective part of a retailer’s offerings at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in a session entitled “How to offer free shipping and keep costs in check."

“Free shipping offers have become a growing trend and an increasing expectation of consumers,” Sailor says. “However, as a retailer, do you know your organization’s true cost of free shipping?”

Sailor will discuss how retailers can learn to quantify the total costs of shipping, including for the add-on charges that go into contracts with carriers. “Take advantage of the carriers’ full range of services to implement cost-effective shipping strategies,” he says. “Discover how to use shipping offers to strategically and selectively increase sales and marketing initiatives and remain competitive in the marketplace.”

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Sailor to speak because of his extensive background in logistics. In 1995 he founded Navigo Consulting Group, where he specializes in contract benchmarking, distribution analysis and carrier negotiations. He started Navigo after having worked nine years at Airborne Express, where he managed one of the company's largest sales districts and helped Airborne Express gain market share with large national accounts.

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