Three days you MUST offer free holiday shipping

shipworks-blog_three-days-free-shippingIn the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey, nearly half of those surveyed (48.2 percent) named free shipping and shipping promotions as the top factor for choosing a retailer. Even if free shipping isn’t part of your company’s everyday strategy, you might want to consider building one-day flash campaigns around free shipping for three particular dates. Here’s why:

Monday, November 28

Cyber Monday is expected to be the largest online shopping day of all time, generating $3.36 billion in sales with 9.4 percent growth, according to Adobe Digital Insights’ 2016 Shopping Predictions for the upcoming holiday season. Just as Black Friday shoppers comb the ads for deals before heading out to the mall, savvy online shoppers will likely look in advance to learn about Cyber Monday discounts and special offers, so if you choose to offer free shipping on Nov. 28, promote this on your website and social media channels as soon as possible.

Friday, December 16

Free Shipping Day is a one-day online shopping event created to give “procrastinators hope for yuletide savings.” Ecommerce merchants of all sizes participate by offering free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve. More than 800 retailers participated in 2015. Wondering if you should give it a try? Free Shipping Day gets a lot of media attention, so you won’t have to spend much time promoting your participation. All you’ve got to do participate (and get a free listing and link to your store from the Free Shipping Day website) is sign up online and promise to offer free shipping on all orders on Dec. 16, with no minimum purchase amount. You must guarantee that items bought on Free Shipping Day will arrive by Dec. 24. While not required, the Free Shipping Day folks also encourage participating merchants to offer additional discounts (such as 10 percent off total purchase) to further attract shoppers to your site on the 16th.

Monday, December 26

The day after Christmas is a great day to offer free shipping for a handful of reasons:

  • Makes newly discounted holiday items even more appealing to customers looking to stock up on post-season items like holiday cards and decorations that they can put away for next year
  • Anyone who received a gift card or certificate is probably pretty excited to cash in those cards
  • The National Retail Federation says nearly six in 10 shoppers plan to buy for themselves during the holidays. Even if shoppers aren’t cashing in their gift cards, there’s a good chance they’ll want to treat themselves to something that didn’t show up under the tree on Christmas morning.

Free shipping can be a huge draw to customers who you know are committed to buying online over the next few weeks, so do what you can to offer it, even if it’s just for the days mentioned above.