Free Shipping for First Timers

May 07, 2013 5:52 PM  By

free-shipping-300One of the hot topics on the tip of many retailers’ tongues this year is mastering the art of free shipping. It is not only a great tool to get your company to standout against your competitors but it can also help lower your shopping cart abandonment rate, according to a presentation made at the Operations Summit conference by Manish Chowdhary, founder and CEO of multichannel ecommerce company GoECart.

During his presentation, Chowdhary said that 75% of consumers prefer to shop with merchants who offer free shipping and that 36% of shoppers have said that they will not buy from you unless you offer free shipping.

The bottom line, free shipping is a must for most retailers.

In a recent phone interview Chowdhary said that while mastering the art of free shipping may seem like a daunting task it can be done rather simply.

Free shipping is not just a single faceted animal, according to Chowdhary, retailers looking to get into the game can start small and offer several different types of free shipping to better suit their needs and their wallets.

In his presentation, Chowdhary laid out eight different types of free shipping commonly used by retailers: total free shipping, commonly used by L.L. Bean, free shipping with membership, minimum order shipping, select item shipping, site-to-store shipping, free return shipping, flat rate shipping, and free shipping by delivery location.

But one of the best ways if you are just starting out in the free shipping realm, Chowdhary recommends, is to start by tying the option to a coupon code. By doing so, you can send out a coupon to a segmented part of your audience and not your entire fan base. This way you can see what customers are using it and how much it is costing you. By conducting segmented free shipping, he said, could also boost engagement when trying to grab the attention of dormant customers.

“It’s really about testing and figuring out the lift you’re going to get from the promotion,” Chowdhary said.