Studies Show Free Shipping is a Big Consumer Perk

With 57% of adults shopping with retailers that offer free shipping, and 27% add unplanned items to their cart in order to meet free shipping thresholds, according to Forrester, it clear that free shipping is a major trend in the industry and will probably only get bigger.

Last year, Forrester reported that 76% of the top 50 online retailers highlighted holiday deals on their home pages and 50% called out holiday shipping promotions. As price continues to be a top consideration for consumers, retailers must offer and prominently display holiday shipping promotions or risk losing customers to competitors that will.

Before going directly into free shipping, according to the Thinking Forward an online resource offered by Dymo Endicia website, there are a few key things to consider:

  • Understand your customer and their values; some prefer discounts over free shipping.
  • Start offering free shipping on orders over a certain value.
  • Remind customers how much money they are saving on shipping costs.

Shipping and delivery are key components when it comes to customer engagement and creating a much more enjoyable customer experience. But it is important to get a complete view of who your customers are and what their preferred method of shipping is.
According to the 2012 comScore Online Shopping Customer Experience Study, shoppers expect a variety of delivery options be made available to them when moving through the checkout process.

The comScore study found that 25% of shoppers said they most often chose a faster ground option for a nominal fee. One-third of online shoppers say they “most often” choose to pay a nominal fee for faster delivery when making a purchase.

To keep customers happy, comScore found that retailers need to show the shipping costs, present how much more should be purchased in order to get free shipping, and give customers the option of shipping time frames.

Customers, comScore found, want to see options such as “special delivery instructions” that includes the ability to schedule late deliveries, change of delivery location and when the package should arrive.

While free shipping will indeed be a major motivator moving in 2013, consumers according to comScore will in fact pay a nominal fee if that means they will get their product faster. In fact, comScore found that consumers take the price of the product and the shipping charges equally into consideration when making a purchase.

In order to boost your user experience on your ecommerce site, retailers should make sure the shopper can identify the expected delivery date, there is a tracking update option for each package including delivery notifications and that the consumer can give special delivery instructions including alternative times or location.