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Cart Killing 101: Don’t Offer Free Shipping

Cart Killing 101 Dont Offer Free Shipping

How many times have you personally been shopping online, excited to make a purchase, only to abandon your cart because you were hit with unexpected (and what you considered to be too expensive) shipping costs? You’re not alone. 58% of shoppers decide not to complete a purchase when the shipping costs are too much of a shock at checkout. It’s a familiar experience for many of us when it comes to retailers. Don’t be one of those retailers.

People go online because they think that’s where they’ll get the best deal. And in many shoppers’ minds, getting the best deal often includes not paying to ship it. With things like Amazon Prime, free shipping has come to be expected.

Unconditional free shipping is the number one criterion for making a purchase online. It’s the rule, not the exception. It should be your number one promotion. If you can’t offer free shipping across the board, at least offer it with a certain spend threshold (e.g. “Orders $45 or more get free shipping!”). And – a bonus for you – adding a threshold will increase your average order value.

If you’re offering free shipping, make sure your shoppers know it. Add it to the header of your website. Put it in a lightbox. Add it to the product and cart pages. Include it in your marketing campaigns in emails and paid ads. Even if you’re running a separate promotion like a BOGO or a certain percentage discount, also make sure your shoppers know they’ll get free shipping, and they’ll be more likely to shop.

Are you currently offering free shipping? How is the rest of your site performing? Let us take a look and let you know where you can improve. 

Is your website ready for the holidays?

View more posts about Conversion Rate Optimization.


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Alex Harris, Conversion Optimization Director

Optimizely MVP/SME for Strategic Experimentation. Alex Harris, Conversion Optimization Director, Perficient.

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