The Overwhelming Case for Free Shipping – eShipper

Sarah Kermalli
Sarah Kermalli Nov 01, 2016 • 3 min read

If drone delivery is the future, free shipping is the new normal. Customers have grown so accustomed to receiving their online orders for free that they hardly view it as a perk.

Although a lot of emphasis has been placed on speed, the great majority of shoppers (86 percent!) are actually willing to wait between four and seven days as long as they don’t have to pay a single cent for shipping, according to a survey by AlixPartners.

Just to show how much shoppers value free shipping, take a look at the results of some recent studies:

  • Free shipping makes shoppers spend more and add more items to their online cart. A study by Usability Sciences found that when free shipping was offered the average number of items in the cart increased from 3.4 to 3.7 while the average ticket price rose from $118.29 to $142.93.
  • 64 percent of consumers say shipping costs greatly affect their ordering decisions (Source: AlixPartners).
  • 88 percent of consumers are more likely to use an e-commerce site if it offers free shipping (Source: Accent).
  • 62 percent of consumers would not have made their most recent online purchase if they had not received free shipping (Source: Compete).
  • 58 percent of online shoppers have added items to their shopping carts to qualify for free shipping while 83 percent are willing to wait an additional two days for delivery if shipping is free (Source: comScore).
  • 74 percent of consumers cited free shipping as one of the top factors that would improve their online shopping experience (Source: Boston Consulting Group).
  • 44 percent of consumers abandoned their shopping cart because they thought the shipping costs were too steep (Source: Shopify).

The case for offering free shipping is simply overwhelming. But as much as consumers probably dream of seeing their orders air dropped – for free – within minutes of hitting “Purchase,” it needs to make financial sense for you – or your online presence will be short-lived.

Setting a minimum order amount encourages shoppers to add more items. You can also offset the cost by slightly raising the price of your products. And if you, because of the nature of your product line, can’t offer free shipping, making sure any charges are displayed early in the checkout process will make shoppers less likely to abandon their cart.

Do you need help to figure out what works for you? Let eShipper help. Simply input your shipment information to instantly find the best rates and most appropriate carriers for your needs. Click here to learn more about us or contact us for more information.

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