Reach New Levels of Success: Benefits of Offering Free Shipping

Introduction to Free Shipping on an eCommerce Store

Free shipping is a great way to make customers happy and increase sales on an eCommerce platform. It’s a competitive retail trend that encourages customers to spend more and build loyalty with your store. In this guide, we’ll look at the benefits of offering free shipping to your customers and explore how it can help to increase your customer base.

Using free shipping as a strategy to increase sales on your eCommerce store is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. Everyone loves getting something for free, and shipping fees are no exception. By offering free shipping, you can remove the barrier for customers purchasing from you, ultimately leading to more sales and higher customer satisfaction.

The key to successful free shipping is understanding why it’s beneficial for your business and your customers. When done right, free shipping is a great way to stand out from the competition and show your customers that you care about their shopping experience.

Research Benefits of Free Shipping

Customers love free shipping. But how does free shipping benefit eCommerce stores? Studies have found that customers are more likely to purchase from a store when they can get free shipping, and that most consumers are willing to spend more if there is no additional cost for delivery. In addition, free shipping offers can help to increase customer loyalty as customers are more likely to shop again with a store that offers them free shipping.

A study conducted by Walker Sands found that 82% of customers rated free shipping as their #1 incentive for completing an online purchase, and 78% of customers said they were more likely to buy from a store that offers free shipping. Furthermore, the study showed that 48% of customers would even abandon their online cart if free shipping is not included.

Additionally, a survey by the National Retail Federation reported that 1 in 4 shoppers will shop more often from a site with free shipping. This suggests that free shipping incentivizes customers to come back for more purchases, and helps to build customer loyalty.

Overall, offering free shipping on an eCommerce store is a great way to drive more sales and build customer loyalty. Not only do customers prefer free shipping, but it also helps to increase shopping frequency, capture more sales, increase average order value, and boost overall customer satisfaction.

Cost Analysis

Shipping costs are a major factor in the success of any eCommerce store. Customers expect their products to be delivered quickly and to their satisfaction, and the cost of delivery plays a significant role in whether they will make a purchase. But for many stores, it’s difficult to gauge the true cost of shipping. Do I charge my customers a flat rate? Should I offer free shipping? Or should I rely on a combination of both?

The key to understanding the cost of shipping lies in its perceived versus actual cost. While most customers assume that shipping is prohibitively expensive, the truth is that shipping costs are actually quite low. According to a 2018 survey, the average cost for a one-pound package to be shipped within the U.S. is only about $5. This means that a store may be able to offer free shipping without incurring any extra costs or sacrificing customer loyalty.

Furthermore, research has shown that customers are more likely to purchase items from an online store if free shipping is offered. A 2018 study by Salsify found that 95% of respondents agreed that free shipping was the number one influence on their decision to shop online, with 94% indicating that they would be more likely to shop at a store that provides free shipping.

Therefore, offering free shipping can be an effective way to attract and retain customers, especially since it requires minimal effort to implement. By understanding the difference between actual and perceived cost of shipping, eCommerce stores can take advantage of the opportunity to boost customer loyalty and increase sales.

Overview of Industry Practices

Free shipping is a very popular strategy for online stores, and merchants are continually looking for ways to offer customers the performance they expect when it comes to shipping. Many stores have adopted a variety of strategies to provide their customers with free shipping options.

One of the most common free shipping strategies is utilizing a “free shipping threshold.” This means that customers will be able to qualify for free shipping if they spend a certain amount on their order (such as $50). Some stores also add conditions, such as offering free shipping on orders over $75 that are shipped within the continental United States.

Another popular approach to free shipping is offering flat rate shipping. With this method, customers know exactly how much shipping will cost no matter the size or weight of the order. There is also the option to waive shipping fees for loyalty members and other special customers.

Alternatively, some stores offer a combination of free and discounted shipping. For instance, a store might offer discounted shipping rates for orders below the threshold, and then offer free shipping for orders above the threshold. This strategy can help to generate more revenue by encouraging customers to spend more in order to receive free shipping.

Finally, stores may also offer promotional free shipping offers, such as seasonal discounts or discounts for special occasions. These short-term offers can help to encourage customers to shop during slow periods or take advantage of special deals.

Retention and Growth Strategies

One of the most powerful benefits that free shipping offers is the ability to build customer loyalty in the long run. By offering free shipping, retailers are able to increase customer satisfaction, which often leads to customer retention and sales growth. Companies who provide free shipping often have higher rates of return customers who are more likely to purchase again.

When utilizing free shipping for customer loyalty, include options like subscription services, auto-renewals and special promotions. Additionally, consider discounts for frequent or loyal customers to encourage repeat purchases. Reuseable shipping materials are also a great way to reduce overhead costs while providing an enjoyable customer experience.

Another way to increase customer loyalty via free shipping is by offering different levels of service. Some stores offer express services for customers who need their items faster, or lower shipping costs for customers who purchase in bulk or subscribe to a certain package.

For businesses with international customers, offering competitive shipping rates and opportunities for free shipping can be essential. Offering delivery estimates can also help to set expectations and prevent disappointed customers.

Pros & Cons of Free Shipping

Free shipping offers can be a great way to attract customers to your eCommerce store and build customer loyalty. There are both advantages and disadvantages to offering free shipping to customers, and it’s important to consider both before implementing it on your store. Here we’ll look at the pros and cons of offering free shipping so you can decide if it’s right for your business.


  • Free shipping gives customers added incentive to purchase from your store rather than competitors.
  • It also encourages bigger orders as customers are unlikely to be discouraged by additional shipping costs.
  • Having free shipping can make your store more attractive and appealing to customers.
  • Offering free shipping helps to build customer loyalty to your store.
  • Free shipping can help retailers to reduce their cart abandonment rates.


  • The cost of providing free shipping can be prohibitive to some merchants.
  • The cost of shipping must also be taken into account when setting prices for products.
  • Free shipping can lead to increased returns from customers who take advantage of the offer.
  • Customers may become dependent on free shipping offers and expect them always.
  • The cost of free shipping must be weighed against its perceived benefit for the customer.

Clearly there are advantages and disadvantages to offering free shipping on an eCommerce store. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons carefully before making any decisions about free shipping on your store.

Internal Policies & Processes

Successfully implementing free shipping offers starts with ensuring that internal policies and processes are in place to handle the additional demand and shipping costs. These policies and procedures should take into account the cost of the goods, the customer service team, delivery times and other related topics.

It is important to set specific criteria for offering customers free shipping options. For example, some stores may choose to only offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, or for orders within a certain time frame. Other retailers may choose to offer free shipping on all orders without any restrictions.

The customer service team must be prepared to answer any questions customers may have about free shipping options and be able to provide clear and accurate information. Additionally, providing customers with fast and reliable delivery times is key as customers will continue to shop with stores that deliver their purchases quickly and efficiently.

By having these internal policies and processes in place, merchants can ensure that their free shipping offers are successful and effective in encouraging customer loyalty and increasing sales.

Security & Reliability Considerations

When you offer free shipping to your customers, security and reliability should always be a top priority. As an online store, it can be difficult to build trust with your customers. A secure and reliable shopping experience is key to establishing this trust.

Ensuring that your website and payment systems are completely secure is vital. This means having up-to-date software to protect against the latest cyber threats, as well as using secure payment gateways. In addition, you need to make sure that the customer information you collect is handled properly and securely stored.

In order to guarantee a reliable shopping experience for customers, you must also have efficient processes in place to ensure orders are fulfilled promptly and accurately. This includes accurate inventory tracking, swift order processing, and timely shipping. Addressing any customer issues promptly will also help further strengthen customer loyalty.

Success Stories

It’s one thing to read about the benefits of offering free shipping, but it’s another to see real-world examples in action. We’ve gathered some inspiring success stories from merchants that have utilized free shipping in their online stores.

A great example of the power of free shipping comes from La Mer Collections. The jewelry company offers free shipping for all domestic orders, as well as free returns. After launching this policy, they saw orders jump by 20%, and returning customers increased by over 30%.

Yogasmoga has also seen tremendous success since offering free shipping. When the athleisure brand launched free shipping and free returns in 2017, orders grew 1000% in the span of just three months.

Nomorerack is another success story that illustrates how powerful free shipping can be. After implementing the policy of shipping orders for free, Nomorerack saw an increase in purchases of up to 70%.

These success stories are a testament to the remarkable potential of free shipping. Consumers are willing to spend more when they receive something of benefit for no additional cost.

Considerations for Multiple Shipping Constraints

In some cases, online merchants may have multiple shipping constraints to consider when offering free shipping options. In these scenarios, there are a few different options available.

  • The first option is to limit the offer of free shipping to certain locations or regions. This may be ideal for businesses that have higher shipping costs in certain areas due to distance or other factors.
  • Alternatively, merchants can also opt to offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount. This ensures that customers who make larger purchases get the benefit of free shipping, while those that make smaller orders don’t.
  • Finally, merchants may choose to offer free shipping on select products or categories. This way, customers know they can get free shipping simply by buying one of the products or items from the designated categories.

Ultimately, it’s important for merchants to consider their own needs and constraints when deciding on the best free shipping offer to implement. Taking the time to understand the specifics of each potential offer and their associated costs will allow merchants to make an informed decision for their business and customers.

Tips to Maximize ROI

Free shipping offers can be a great way to boost customer loyalty and increase sales. But, it’s important to make sure that the return on investment (ROI) is as high as possible. Here are some tips to help maximize ROI when offering free shipping:

  • Monitor customer feedback – Gauging customer opinion about your shipping policies can help you optimize your strategy and ensure customers are satisfied.
  • Adjust shipping fees for certain items – Consider charging lower fees for smaller or lighter items to encourage purchases, while still providing free shipping overall.
  • Incentivize loyalty – Use incentives such as coupons or discounts to reward frequent customers who use your free shipping offers.
  • Track data – Monitor data regularly to see what works best with your audience and adjust accordingly.
  • Choose the right carrier – Research different shipping carriers to find the best rate and create a good customer experience.
  • Reduce associated costs – Research and implement ways to reduce the costs associated with the free shipping offer, such as packaging materials, storage fees, and labor.

By following these tips, you can make sure that your free shipping offer is successful and provides a great return on investment.


Offering free shipping on an eCommerce store can be a great way to boost sales, build customer loyalty, and even increase the overall ROI of the store. It is important to have internal policies and processes in place to ensure the shipping offer is successful, as well as implementing security and reliability considerations to foster a safe and positive shopping experience for customers. There are pros and cons to offering free shipping, so merchants should conduct their own research and analysis to see if it makes sense for their business model. With the right strategies, offering free shipping can be a powerful tool to drive growth and customer engagement.

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