Missing Out On Online Sales By Not Offering Free Shipping?

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If you are a huge online shopper just like me, you may have noticed the abundance of online stores that are now offering some kind of free shipping. It all really started with Amazon.com a few years back.

I have always been curious to know what the actual impact of offering free shipping is on increasing sales for these stores (and on their profits), and what happens if online stores don’t match their competitors free shipping. Luckily, someone else was thinking this very same thing – so much so that they decided to write a free ebook exploring free shipping!

So, let me introduce the author and expert on this matter – Luke Knowles – he is the founder of FreeShipping.org (which has great free shipping offers too). He has just launched this free ebook called ‘The Free Shipping eBook’, and its packed with great useful information that will help an online store owner not just decide whether to offer free shipping, but what kind of free shipping to offer, and how to do it with most impact.

Luke gives a nice introduction – but my favorite sections are the market research on this subject and the value of free shipping. His points really help hammer home how important it now is to offer some kind of free shipping online. Here are some great stats that really rang home for me:

78% of online customers said prohibitive costs of shipping discouraged them from online purchases”. (Source: E-tailing Group, 2008)

75% of people prefer to shop with online retailers that offer free shipping, compared to 61% in 2007″. (Source: Forrester Research, 2008)

Luke also walks you through all the different options and benefits for types of free shipping – you don’t just have to offer free shipping on orders over $25 like Amazon.com does. There are plenty of great other ideas like free shipping on select items or free shipping by location. He also does a great job discussing tips to emphasize the free shipping offer, like urgency and exclusivity.

It really helped me understand the benefits to offering free shipping, and how to do it with the most impact. I won’t reveal any further – head over to his website, grab a copy of his great ebook and read the rest yourself. Great job Luke!