The free shipping can be an excellent incentive to purchase: everything that is free has something particularly attractive in it.
Shipping costs, if free, can convince some of the buyers to wait a few more days for shipping.
The benefits of offering free shipping
One of the most immediately expected and achievable results, if products sold are really interesting for your potential buyers and if some suggestions are followed, is a rapid increase in online sales: more orders and more profits.
Free shipping can also lead to larger amounts, particularly when the managers of e-commerce sites set a minimum thresholds.
However, the increase in short-term earnings is not a valid rule for all cases.
Beyond any short-term gain, it is important to consider the repeated purchases and the total amount of those customers acquired through free shipping and/or loyalty programs.
Free shipping may be necessary to remain simply competitive on the market.
If there is no increase in sales and earnings, free shipping can be a valuable tool to stay competitive compared to the more aggressive competition.
How to offer free shipping costs
7 ways commonly used to offer your customers free shipping:
1. Free shipping on the whole product catalog
Some ecommerce sites offer free shipping on all products and orders, regardless of items or order amount.
It is a quick and practical solution especially in the case of small and light products. It provides, of course, agreements with shippers and possibly some limitations such as, for example, exclusion for disadvantaged areas and delivery only on the ground floor.
2. Free shipping with a minimum amount to spend
Compared to free shipping on the whole catalog, this is the solution most used by most sites.
Setting a minimum amount to spend and highlighting it clearly on your e-commerce site is a way to encourage larger orders.
3. Free shipping on some products
In some cases it may be more effective to make use of the free shipping costs for some specific products in order to increase your sales: it is the case of products that are not sold or products for which the profit margin is higher so that the merchant is able to absorb shipping costs more easily.
4. Free shipping at certain times of the year
Many e-commerce sites choose to offer free shipping periodically, as an incentive during a short marketing campaign, during the summer holidays or at other times of the year, such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
5. Free shipping to registered users only
Another method used is to offer free shipping costs to users registered on the site or newsletter: a solution to retain customers as much as possible and encourage users to register.
6. Loyalty programs
Some ecommerce sites offer the free shipping to loyal customers to push them to repeat purchases. As previously mentioned, this is an excellent solution to aim for long-term gains.
7. Free pick-up at the store
Although it does not represent a free shipment, it is an excellent solution to meet your users, contributing to their loyalty, and also to push them to purchase at the physical store in the future.