The other day I was reading an old article in the New York Times about how offering Free Shipping on your ecommerce site can significantly increase sales. The article discusses and shares insight into the strategies of the some of the most popular online stores and how they price their shipping and how it can greatly impact sales. Read the article here – Nothing Says ‘Buy’ Like ‘Free Shipping’ .
The Free Shipping Article had me thinking about how a company which was going to offer free shipping for a period of time and how they would promote the offer. Naturally I think most only stores undertaking a free shipping promotion would do two things. First they would put some sort of promotional messaging on their sites advising prospective customers that they might qualify for free shipping on their first order. Secondly, an ecommerce store offering free shipping would reach out to their existing customer with an EDM of sorts advising that for their next order the shipping is free. Another idea is advertising free shipping, but I’ll get back to that in a moment.
What I think most online stores forget is that free shipping could be a great lead generation strategy to build sales. A few years ago I was involved in an online store start up as a consultant. Well before the successful bricks and mortar company started building their new start up website, they undertook a market research study to identify customer ideals, which they assumed were very different from their existing bring and mortar customers.
The number one thing that came from the market research was that customers online were more likely to make a purchase on their new site if the shipping was free, opposed to paying a premium for the delivery. So the company went into the new ecommerce site with the marketing tactic that customers would never pay for shipping. They simply built the shipping into the price point. The result; sales exploded for them and they’ve never looked back. The site has turned out to be a multimillion dollar online business and I believe that it’s because of their foundation that customers will never pay for shipping.
Ok, so you’ve decided to run a free shipping promotion. So apart from reaching out to customers on your site or your existing customer base, you should consider running an advertising campaign to market your free shipping campaign. By advertising free shipping you’re removing one of the hurdles that many online stores face and reaching out to gaining new customers. It could be the best lead generation campaign you’ve ever run.
Apart from simply running your free shipping advertising across our entire network of grocery buyers, we can help develop your advertising creative. It’s important for the creative to indicate that you’re offering free shipping. Don’t put the key message in a small font, make it stand out in bold and gain attention.