Let’s take this old New York Times article from 2007 as an example of that. The article discussed the strategies of some of the most popular online stores (at that time), how they priced their shipping, and how shipping can greatly impact sales. (Read the article here – Nothing Says ‘Buy’ Like ‘Free Shipping’.)
The free shipping trend seemed to be just that– a trend. However, in today’s age, free shipping is still an incredibly powerful way to bring in leads and turn those leads into conversions.
But how can this be? Won’t free shipping just drain the wallets of the business selling the products in question? This can be a little complicated, especially when we look at small businesses vs. large enterprises. Let’s break down how free shipping works for different businesses.
Free Shipping and Amazon
It seems that everyone and their mother has an Amazon Prime account, and there’s only one reason why– the shipping is “free” and the shipping is fast.
One could say Amazon is taking a hit by offering free shipping on massive amounts of products on its site, but that simply isn’t true. Amazon is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. Plus, that “free” shipping isn’t free at all– some of it is being paid for through the actual Amazon Prime subscription.
Free Shipping and Small Businesses
What I think most online stores forget is that free shipping is a great lead generation strategy to build sales.
Let’s look at an example. A few years ago, I was involved in an online store start-up as a consultant. 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.
It only made sense. Why pay more money for something online when you could find that same product at that same price in a local store, no shipping cost needed?
The company went into the new e-commerce site with the marketing tactic that customers would never pay for shipping. They simply built the shipping into the price point. What was the result? You guessed it: sales exploded for them and they’ve never looked back.
The site has turned out to be a multimillion-dollar online business. There’s a very good chance that this is because of their mantra that customers will never pay for shipping. There’s a good chance that this is why Amazon became so popular– though there are likely many other factors that we could pick apart in that scenario.
How to Run a Free Shipping Campaign
So, is it worth advertising free shipping? We believe the answer is a resounding “yes!” Free shipping is more or less a mandatory demand of today’s online consumer.
To start, reach out to customers on your website as well as your existing customer base. Then, start running ad campaigns that market free shipping as a primary benefit.
By advertising free shipping, you’re removing one of the hurdles that many online stores face when reaching out to pull in new customers. It could really 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, Gourmet Ads can help develop your advertising creative and help you take a programmatic and target approach to launching your free shipping ad campaign. We’ll ensure that your free shipping ad campaign reaches the right consumers at the right time.
Let the Gourmet Ads team walk you through all the options available to ensure that your Food, Supermarket, Beverage or Kitchen campaign has the best possible combination of Premium Guaranteed Inventory, First Party Data and Programmatic elements.