Okay, so we know that free shipping is a big deal for online shoppers. It seems like every other company has a free shipping offer over a certain threshold - $25 or 50 seems like the common limit.
So why doesn’t Healthwick offer free shipping?
Believe it or not, Healthwick has tested free shipping offers many times, and some of the things we’ve learned might surprise you.
3 Things We've Learned About Incontinence Products Free Shipping
We can’t offer free shipping and still offer fast delivery.
Healthwick orders generally have great delivery rates – usually next business day to most areas of the Greater Toronto Area and just a few days to remote areas of Canada. That’s because we use (mostly) Canada Post Expedited Parcel service.
CPEP isn’t cheap, however. Healthwick actually loses a lot of money on shipping bulky, heavy adult diaper orders. The difference between what we charge for our flat-fee shipping and what we pay Canada Post is several thousand dollars each week.
On many orders, we actually pay more in shipping than we make on the small margin of the order.
Yes, that’s right. Sometimes, we pay to give customers free product.
The only way our finance team could make free shipping work for our customers AND not have employee paychecks bounce would be to use a lower quality of delivery service – typically adding 4 to 6 days to the usual delivery.
That’s how most of our competitors do it.
But we all know that incontinence products are a need, not a want. When you NEED something to be confident going about your daily life, that variable “is it or isn’t it going to arrive in time?” causes an enormous amount of stress.
So, we’re sticking to Expedited Parcel and UPS… and yes, we pay the difference between the modest flat-fee shipping charge and what WE actually pay in order to make it happen.
Most people don’t mind.
No one likes to buy adult diapers. (Or rather, they’re a minority – see this blog.)
No one likes going to the local pharmacy or Walmart and hoping they have enough packages of exactly their size/absorbency/style on the shelf so they don’t have to make another trip.
No one likes standing at checkout with a cart full of Depends, hoping not to run into anyone they know.
No one likes wrangling large, heavy boxes into their shopping cart, out to their car, then into their home. Especially when they live in an apartment. Especially when they’re a little older and have less mobility or reduced strength.
So, if someone came to you and said “I’ll deliver this right to your door for $9”, wouldn’t you think that’s well worth the price?
The fact is that the vast majority of our customers look at it exactly that way.
Even at $16 – our maximum flat-fee shipping charge to the furthest coasts of Canada - it seems like a bargain. Especially if you have the space to stock up for several months at a time.
It makes people value what we do.
In our humble experience, when you get something for free, you don’t appreciate it.
That flat-fee shipping charge is recognition of our bond as provider and customer – we ask that you pay a modest amount on every order so that we can give you the best service possible.
In turn, you know that:
Maybe you’re thinking “Well, that’s the same as what [Healthwick Competitor} would do and THEY offer free shipping!”
But it’s not.
Some competitors get away with free shipping by offering slower shipping options, adding 4 to 6 days to your order’s delivery.
Some competitors get away with free shipping by not keeping products in stock, so they order from manufacturers when YOU order, adding 2 to 10 days to your order’s delivery.
Some competitors get away with free shipping by not having knowledgeable, compassionate staff to answer your questions.
Some competitors get away with free shipping by not offering free samples to let you try new products.
Some competitors get away with free shipping by not letting you order by phone, so you have to place the order and put in your credit card details online.
Some competitors get away with free shipping by having high error rates, so 5 to 10% of the orders they ship are incorrect (great, so long as you’re not one of the 5 to 10%).
Frankly, some competitors do all 6 of these. And yes, as a consumer, you’ll save that shipping charge when you order from them.
But you’ll constantly be worried your incontinence products aren’t in stock, won’t ship on time, won’t be accurate, or you won’t be able to talk to a real, live Canadian if there’s a question or problem.
That’s your choice.
At Healthwick, we know just want you to have an easy, seamless shopping experience. Plain and simple.
We want you to have access to the best selection of incontinence products in Canada, the largest range of free samples, the fastest shipping, the most compassionate product advice from a real human, and the most accurate orders possible.
So we’re willing to pay most of the shipping, if you can just pay a little shipping charge too.
And that’s why, at least for now, we don’t offer free shipping.