Is free shipping part of your holiday mix?

Posted by Speed Commerce on September 22, 2015

There are less than 100 days until Christmas and Cyber Monday is even closer. No doubt you’ve got your holiday promotions on the calendar, but how many of them include free shipping?

For many online retailers, offering free shipping is a difficult decision. While it may help you get more sales and attract first-time shoppers, the cost of shipping every order for free can eat into you bottom line.

How do you offer free shipping without breaking the bank? We’ve got three recommendations.

1. Require a minimum

Set a minimum purchase amount to qualify for free shipping. According to the 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey from Pitney Bowes, 60% of holiday shoppers indicated they have increase their online spending to qualify for free shipping.

Major retailers like Macy’s use $99 at their minimum, but you should find an amount that will work for your online store. One way to start is to take a look at your current average order value and then make the minimum purchase amount to qualify for free shipping slightly higher.

2. Set a time limit

Make free shipping a limited-time promotion. This promotion could last a week or just a day or two. Pick a timeframe that works best for your strategy.

Another idea? Tie your free shipping promotions to Free Shipping Day (yep, it’s a thing).

3. On your next purchase

Keep your customers coming back by offering free shipping on a future purchase. Simply send them an offer code or insert it into their shipment.

This offer may pull shoppers back to your online store, give them an incentive to purchase more products, and become a loyal customer. HOT TIP – Make sure the offer expires to add that sense of urgency!

Keep in mind, free does not have to equal fast. According to a recent survey conducted by ecomscore on behalf of UPS, when shipping is free, 95% of shoppers are willing to wait five days for more for delivery.

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