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Is Free Shipping Required to Run an Online Store?

Is Free Shipping Required to Run an Online Store?

Free shipping as a sales tactic has its advantages and disadvantages. Yes, it improves conversion rates, but it can also decrease your profit margins if not done right. One of the decisions you need to make when investing in eCommerce web design is how to structure your shipping strategy. Smart WSI Marketing is an Edmonton website design company that specializes in building eCommerce sites that help you convert more customers and maximize profits. Contact us today for a consultation! 

Customers Love Free Shipping 

It should come as no surprise that customers love free and fast shipping. In a recent survey of 3,000 online shoppers, nearly 85% of them said they made a purchase from a company that sells products online specifically because free shipping was offered. Yet the same survey found that only 60% of merchants who replied offer free shipping to their customers. That’s a substantial number but most of those do not offer free one or two-day options.  

Ready for two more stats? Half the people surveyed said they avoid online companies that don’t offer free shipping and a whopping 77% said they’ll abandon a shopping cart because of unsatisfactory shipping options. It seems pretty obvious that offering free shipping is an option worth exploring and building into your web design

Free Shipping as Part of Your eCommerce Website Design 

Businesses that sell products online should seriously consider adding free shipping to their eCommerce website. For one thing, it’s been shown to dramatically increase conversion rates and boost upsells. It also offers customers the experience they’re looking for which leads to greater loyalty, repeat business, and referrals. There are several ways to offer attractive shipping options on your eCommerce site: 

  • Free for everything. 
  • Flat-fee shipping. 
  • Free above a minimum order threshold. 
  • Free at certain times of year.
  • Free on some items. 

Of course, since there’s no such thing as “free” in retail, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll offer free shipping without hurting your bottom line. Baking the delivery into the cost is one way or counting it as a cost of marketing. Some eCommerce businesses offer free shipping as a part of a loyalty program similar to Amazon Prime. 

Web Design Created for Conversion and Profit 

While free shipping seems like a simple concept (free shipping equals more sales) it’s actually an important marketing strategy that offers the highly personalized experience customers are looking for. Smart WSI Marketing is an Edmonton website design company that understands there are many critical factors that go into building a successful eCommerce business. Contact us today to learn more about eCommerce website design and all the other digital marketing solutions we provide. 

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Online Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.


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