How To Drive Holiday Shoppers With Free Shipping

November 11, 2020 Written By Hemant Parmar

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Free shipping is the No. 1 incentive for customers to shop online. And it can work wonders if ‘tis offered during biggest holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is the most powerful promotion strategy for eCommerce store owners to boost your conversion rate and increase AOV (average order value).

Studies show that consumers have increasingly expecting from brands to offer free shipping whenever they buy products online. This means that customers of modern-day not only want fast shipping but free shipping as well. They are also ready to embrace other options like pick up in-store that come as a free shipping option.

Offering free shipping is an expense like any other marketing strategy but it is an important part of your promotion strategy. Business owners have to pay charges to their shipping & logistics partners even if customers are getting the items they have ordered at free shipping cost. But the question for eCommerce store owners this holiday is not “should we offer free shipping?” but ‘tis “How will we offer it?”

Ways to Drive Holiday Shoppers with Free Shipping

We have come up with some tried and tested ways for how you should offer free shipping this holiday season to drive holiday shoppers.

1. Make All Orders Free Shipping:

This is the father of all methods you could adopt to gain a high amount of sales. This is a simple method for consumers to understand and easy for business owners to implement. By making every order free to ship, you have cleared all the hindrances that could come between users and products they want to buy. This only has so much potential to bring so many sales if promoted well in advance and in the right way.

When customers see the free shipping on each order, they don’t raise any questions, no second-guessing, and no hesitation to make purchases. Businesses who opt for this kind of free shipping option, have a clear vision to boost sales in a large amount. They are willing to invest to churn out profits from selling large sum of items. If you are going for this method, you have to make some calculations of how many sales you must make in order to be profitable all the while.

2. Offer Free, Premium, and Standard Shipping:

Offering free shipping does not mean you can’t offer premium options to ship orders early. It’s taken that shoppers love free shipping, especially during holidays. However, that can’t stop them from paying a premium charge to get the early delivery of orders. Amazon, the leader in free shipping, offers its customers premium shipping options to get orders early by creating a sense of urgency.

For instance, Amazon offers free standard delivery but if customers wish, they can upgrade to receive the order within one or two days by paying a premium charge. You can do something similar with your shipping options. Availing the free as well as the premium option is a great way to boost sales.

3. Offer Free Premium Shipping:

Turn the above point upside down. This means offering premium shipping methods like one day or two-day shipping for free. This aims to take your eCommerce conversion rate through the roof. Offering such kinds of shipping for free to your customers is only practically possible for eCommerce businesses with distributed warehouses.

This approach of offering free premium shipping will be well received by your customers similar to what Amazon does with its prime. It has warehouses and sortation centers in every region of major countries. And due to that, Amazon can ship orders within two days with free and fast ground shipping.

4. Cap Your Free Shipping:

One report suggests that 58% of the consumers are willing to add more items to their cart to qualify for free shipping. Thus, putting a cap on to allow customers to opt for free shipping is beneficial in many ways. First, your customers will get the sense to shop extra than to pay for shipping. And second, it will likely increase your average order value by around 30%. Small tweaks like adding a free shipping bar will help customers to see how much they need to shop more to qualify for free shipping.

Let’s suppose you have put a cap of $49 to qualify for free shipping and customers have purchased items worth around $40-$45. Customers with these kinds of purchases are willing to shop extra items to go beyond the capped free shipping amount than to pay for shipping. Now, the question remains is how much you should put the cap for free shipping? Well, it shouldn’t be too low or too high. Try setting it about 30 to 40% higher than your current average order value.

5. Ship Second Items Free:

Another great way to boost your average order value and unit sales is to offer free shipping on the purchase of two or more items. The free shipping option encourages 93% of the online buyers to take action or buy more products to qualify. Offering two or more items with free shipping will almost double up your order value and revenue for this holiday season.

Supposes one customer adds an item worth just above $20 and can qualify for free shipping if another item is added to the cart. Here customer gets the supply of two items at no shipping cost and in the process helps the merchant earn more revenue. That’s mind-blowing!

6. Free Ship Next Orders:

If your goal for this holiday season is to increase repeat sales and have no concern with the immediate conversion boost, then you can go for this option. This will enable customers to make repeat purchases on your eCommerce store and help you boost sales post-holidays. You can simply email a coupon code that allows customers to shop next time with free shipping. Or you can also send the coupon card with the product along with a thank card.

7. Launch Membership for Free Shipping:

Similar to the above point, you can increase repeat sales and make customers stay loyal to your brand with a membership program. As the holiday season is upon us, shoppers have a chance to try other eCommerce brands to buy gifts. So what you can do is to make free shipping a norm for those who chose to become a member of your program.

This kind of membership program is the best way for any eCommerce store owner to grow their business by turning holiday shoppers into loyal customers. Also, one survey reveals that more than 29% of the consumers are will to sign up for a loyalty program to qualify for free shipping every time they order online.

Wrapping Up

As you know, that the holiday season is now around the corner and shoppers are just waiting for what brands have to offer to grab the deal at the cheapest possible. Thus, offering free shipping adds more fuel to the fire. We have provided a comprehensive list of ways to drive holiday shoppers with free shipping if you want to take your sales, conversion, and revenue through the roof.

You can also consult our eCommerce experts if you still need help to plan out your holiday season or upgrade your current system to match the rush of holidays.

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