How to Make Free Shipping Profitable (Infographic)

Free shipping has become the standard in online shopping. Proven to increase order volume and reduce cart abandonment, it is an effective tactic to generate more sales. The dilemma is that free shipping is never actually free, as businesses have to eat the costs. With shipping costs rising, offering unlimited free shipping is not sustainable for most businesses in the long run. The good news is there are alternate forms of free shipping that make this shopping perk profitable for your business.

To implement an effective strategy, you will need to evaluate your margin (how much your product sells against how much it costs you), shipping costs, product type, and your audience. Red Stag Fulfillment put together an infographic with 22 research-backed tips to create a free shipping strategy that meets customer expectations and drives profit.

How to Make Free Shipping Profitable

Gmail Productivity Tips

If you are like most people, your inbox is a cluttered cesspool filled with the unopened newsletter subscriptions you continue to receive and fail to ever read. In an email study, 20 percent of users were found to have more than 21,000 emails in their inbox. Although this number is absurdly high, the average falls below the 21,000 but above 72 emails.

Communication in the modern workplace is centered around email. Every day there are over 205 billion emails and estimated to continue growing by 3 percent annually. With mind-boggling numbers like this, there is a lot of opportunity to unlock added productivity. This visual from GetVoIP features actionable Gmail tips to improve your workflow and increase email productivity.

gmail tips to have more productive email

Sharing for Dollars: The “Sharing Economy” Business Model

Perhaps one of the most important lessons you learned in kindergarten was to share. And now, that life lesson takes on even more meaning if you’re an aspiring business owner. The sharing economy has made it possible to leap in the world of entrepreneurship using assets you may already possess.

What is a sharing economy?
There is no specific definition that accurately illustrates what, exactly, a sharing economy is. As Money Crashers points out, it’s been called many things including a peer economy, collaborative economy and gig economy. Whatever moniker you choose, a sharing economy is simply one that allows members to lend their assets to others for a predetermined sum.

Investopedia explains that the sharing economy has quickly evolved and is now an all-inclusive term that refers to any sort of online transaction initiated and completed by two individuals, or in some cases, two businesses, outside of a traditional goods and services relationship. A few examples of shared economy businesses include Uber, VRBO and ThreadUp. Freelancing platforms including UpWork and Fiverr operate as networks for people to come together and share their talents and skills. These connections are vital in a sharing economy.

Pros and cons
There are multiple pros and cons to this new type of economy. For one, freelance work allows an individual the opportunities and freedoms to work on their own terms. They can charge what they want for their services. It’s an attractive situation for people who like to travel and those with children still at home. On the downside, work is never guaranteed and there is always someone else with a bigger, brighter room for rent, vehicle to ride in, or more stylish outfit up for grabs.

Getting started
It’s not just enough to simply want to make money. If you want to be successful, you must be willing to take risks and adapt to your environment without notice. There are certain personality traits you can look for, including tenacity and problem-solving abilities that can give you a better idea of whether or not you’re suited for self-employment. Being an entrepreneur requires self-discipline and the ability to get up when you get knocked down. Always be prepared for success and failure. You’ll need to be a skilled multi-tasker and have the ability to understand the fundamentals of running your own business.

Once you have decided that you’re ready, you’ll need to decide what service you will provide and how much to charge. When determining your rates, keep in mind that you will be responsible for approximately 15 percent in employment taxes paid directly to the IRS. As an employee, your boss paid this; as an entrepreneur, you arethe boss. Start slowly and avoid the temptation to take on more than you can chew. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to deliver your best to your first few clients. They won’t come back, and it may be more difficult to convince others that you’ve gotten your act together. When it’s time to grow your business, hold onto this mindset and go at a steady pace. Remember, you are a one-man (or woman) show and you can only stretch so far without flexing your abilities first.

Sharing economy gigs
There are no rules when it comes to what products or services you can sell. But a few ideas to get you started include:

  • Rent a spare room in your home
  • Rent your vehicle when not in use
  • Sell space on your car windows for companies to advertise
  • Rent your boat
  • Delivery groceries
  • Use your muscles to help people move
  • Walk dogs
  • Post social media updates for other small business
  • Utilize Skype to teach music

With nearly 50 percent of all Americans now working as freelancers or contractors, the sharing economy is only going to grow. If you’re not satisfied as an employee, there has never been a better time to become an entrepreneur.

Image via Pixabay

E-Commerce Problems And Solutions Guide

Retailers know it’s not enough to simply open stores and expect customers to cooperate. It’s important to make sure shoppers have the best possible experience in the store to ensure they become customers — and remain customers for a long time.

Retailers need to make the shopping experience at their stores as convenient and enjoyable as possible. One of the biggest ways retailers have boosted the convenience factor for their customers in recent years has been to add an e-commerce element to their businesses. However, just because e-commerce is more convenient doesn’t mean retailers and other businesses don’t need to put the same level of attention and care into their websites as they do in-store shopping experiences.

The novelty of e-commerce definitely has worn off for most people, and e-commerce businesses these days must do more than simply be open for business. With so many e-commerce choices, don’t give shoppers an excuse to ditch your website for a competitor’s. For example, poor website design is one of the biggest reasons why shoppers avoid e-commerce businesses. A website that features unpleasant design or has a broken interface will turn away customers faster than anything.

For better or worse, customers also have come to expect a lot from e-commerce businesses when it comes to logistics. They want their orders to be filled quickly and delivered even faster. What’s more, they’ve come to expect free shipping as one of the perks of buying online — so e-commerce retailers that ask customers to pay through the nose for shipping that takes more than a few days are asking for trouble.

Although e-commerce has become a major differentiator for many businesses, it can become a significant hindrance if they don’t take the time and effort to offer their customers the best possible experience. The guide below spells out many of the most common e-commerce problems businesses may have, as well as tactics to use to avoid or solve those problems. It’s no longer enough for business to simply have an online presence — they must work to earn customers’ business (and trust) in the virtual realm as they do in the “real” world.

E-Commerce Problems and Solutions Guide by Jordan Crown.

Interview with Hamid Safaei, Author & Coach

Author & Coach Hamid Safaei

Today, we had a chance to interview Hamid Safaei, who recently published First-Class Leadership, a manual on how highly effective teams can achieve breakthrough results. Below is an exchange between Hamid and FIND the CLIENT’s Brian Farrell about the book.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A very good question. I always wanted to do something significant for Mother Nature and mankind. I visualized myself as the one who was inspiring thousands of people. For a very long time (until I finished my master’s and passed the exam to start a PhD program in 1997) I wanted to be a professor at university. However, my affinity with leadership and working with senior leaders changed my perspective.

What was home like?
I am the 4th child in a crowded family. My parents never went to school. My father had to work very hard and was nonstop involved in many businesses to feed 10 children. He was a farmer and urged all of us to study hard to make it to a better level than what he achieved. And he was right. My mother was very often ill and we had a challenging life. We all came short on many things, but as I and my brothers and sisters often tell each other we never came short on loving and caring for each other. And my parents did whatever they could to teach us the things that matter most. Examples were: word is word, don’t do to anyone what you don’t want others do to you, and be kind and generous to whoever comes your way.

First-Class Leadership was recently published. What inspired you to write?
On Feb. 2nd, 2015 when my wife and son were visiting my parents in Iran I had plenty of time which I usually spent on them. So, I reconnected with myself and visualized what a fulfilled Hamid would look like. Then I wrote down as my mission: By 2025 I have achieved breakthrough results in the peace process in the Middle East. I knew and still know I am one of very few who believe in such a huge thing.  I broke this down into several milestones. The first one included a 3-year plan that should lead to connecting with at least 3 world leaders and publishing two books. First-Class Leadership was my second book and Your Journey to Fulfillment was the first. Just before my deadline I achieved all parts of the first milestone. The idea of publishing First-Class Leadership was a tool via which I could connect with world leaders and top 500 CEO’s. And it works!

Who or what has influenced your writing?
My publisher Gerry Robert has had an important role in shaping First-Class Leadership as it is. Whenever I got stuck, I reached out to Gerry and he helped me out.

Is there a message in your book you want readers to grasp?
Learn to lead yourself before even trying to lead anything or anyone else. Reconnect with the deepest level of your true self, identify your biggest why, find out what you love to do, develop your vision around your passion,  set a sound strategy to bring your vision to life and then implement like hell. First-Class leadership takes your hand in every step of your journey.

Since this website is about sales & marketing, talk to us about some of your favorite blogs and websites you visit for marketing advice.
Gerry Robert is the best person I have known when it comes to marketing. I follow his advice whenever I can. Here’re his website and blog: https://blackcardbooks.com/  and http://www.gerryrobert.com/blog/

I also admire Sir Richard Branson: https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson and Bill Gates : https://www.gatesnotes.com/

And here’s the link to my own blog: http://first-class-leadership.com/blog/

Finally, any advice to writers just starting?
Don’t wait for the perfect moment to start writing. Start to write right here right now. Whenever something comes to your mind while you are not in a position to write, take a note of the idea and whatever comes to mind and save it in your notes/cellphone/email. Then explore on your notes. This is how I wrote a great part of my books.

If your audience visit my website they can download two free eBooks: http://first-class-leadership.com


About Hamid Safaei
Best known for mentoring on leadership and personal development, Hamid Safaei is a certified executive coach who helps leaders, senior managers, and budding entrepreneurs overcome their fears: Fear of being found to be incompetent, fear of failure, fear of losing everything, fear of losing beloved ones, and so on.

Hamid is passionate about helping both individuals and teams to always be at their best. He has led successful business transformations for a number of Fortune Global 500 companies. Hamid is the author of bestselling First-Class Leadership and Your Journey to Fulfillment.

He has developed ImOcean Academy, a unique institute where he applies first-class coaching tools and techniques combined with best practices. He regularly publishes learnings on www.imoceanacademy. com and www.first-class-leadership.com on subjects such as leadership, realizing goals and dreams, target setting, and bringing potential to fruition. His passion is to create a better world by and with better leaders.

His biggest dream is for peace in the Middle East, which he sees as a fundamental step for the peace on a global scale. Hamid aims to achieve breakthrough results in the peace process in the Middle East by 2025. Originally from Iran, Hamid Safaei lives in the Netherlands with his family.