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Should you offer free shipping?

More and more businesses are offering free shipping, but is it right for your business?

well-packed-parcel-1426845-639x479Knowing your customers can help you figure out if free shipping is the way to go or whether they prefer to pay a little more to get their item sooner. A 2014 home delivery survey by business advisory firm Alix Partners, found that 95% of online shoppers polled said free delivery impacted their decision to buy a product, and 75% said they would be willing to wait for a longer delivery period if it meant their item could be shipped for free. Free shipping was most important for people in the 35-44 age group, even if it meant having to wait up to a week to get their goods. Younger respondents said free shipping played a part in their decision, they preferred to get their goods sooner even if this meant paying a little for shipping.

If you don’t think offering free shipping on items is a viable option for your business, you aren’t obligated to offer it. However, there are other ways to incorporate it to make your items look more attractive to customers. You could set a limit where free shipping might be available, for example any orders over £40 would qualify for free shipping. Many consumers will go as far as to add extra items to their cart just to qualify for free shipping.

Knowing the demographic of your clients can help you make informed decisions about offering free shipping options within your business. If customers tend to be younger, a combination of free and fast delivery may be the best option, while if they are older and prioritise free shipping over a quick delivery, you might be able to offer free shipping more often as you can send parcels at a cheaper shipping rate.

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