Free Shipping..or Something Else?

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Many people have told me that Free Shipping is the biggest incentive to online shopping–both business-to-business and consumers. A minimum is usually required for Free Shipping – often $50.   This makes sense, because when you add up the postage, packaging and labor the buyer is getting a nice deal.   Consumers, on our part, like getting a little extra for our hard-earned money.

After several years, Free Shipping with a qualifying purchase has become standard on many e-commerce sites.

What else grabs you as an incentive?   Cash credit toward next purchase? Loyalty rewards? “Best Customer” or “insider sales”?




3 thoughts on “Free Shipping..or Something Else?

  1. I have just ordered some copies of my Blurb book and waited until they had a discount and free shipping offer. Otherwise the shipping would have been way more than the cost … which is surely a rapid route to bankruptcy? If I reckon the shipping is too high I will either shop locally or go without, after all, a bargain isn’t a bargain if the shipping is exorbitant

  2. Free shipping makes a huge difference, many times strongly weighting my decision to buy or not, especially if it’s for a relatively small, sub-$50 purchase. For instance, I went to buy a package of Palamino pencils recently with a sharpener to take advantage of a 25% off Black Friday offer, and the shipping cost quoted was $11. :O

    I ended up not purchasing. Luckily, they ran a special Cyber Monday sale with 25% off AND free shipping, so I ended up purchasing, even adding an additional item to take advantage of the free shipping.

    Another instance with a separate retailer was two nice, quality notebooks on sale for 33% off. Quoted shipping was MORE than the price of the items. I mean, $5-$7 shipping would be fine and reasonable, especially since I wouldn’t need them quickly, but $13? Really.

    I have a suspicion that many retailers use a catch-all of “shipping” to pad their bottom line, especially on smaller orders. It’s just frustrating when I know I can ship a flat-rate USPS small box that would easily hold those pencils and sharpener for ~$6.

  3. I always look for ‘free shipping’ and have to admit that it’s a huge incentive. As I sell on Ebay and always offer free shipping, I realize that it can be a big expense. With larger companies (JCrew) I wait for the 40%off/free shipping, but don’t use that approach with smaller companies because it’s unrealistic.
    A free-shipping bone thrown at us now and then is very nice or a discount that might equal the shipping. Either way, for a small company, I realize that it cuts into the bottom line and try to make my purchases big enough with a discount/free shipping to add to the bottom line and make it worth your while.

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