Should Your Online Store Offer Free Shipping?


According to a recent survey, free shipping is the number one factor that determines whether a shopper makes it through your checkout process. Astonishingly,

93% of shoppers say shipping is the biggest source of encouragement to buy more online!

It's not all about discount though - here are some top tips you can use to offer free shipping without breaking the bank!


1. Hide It

Shipping that looks free doesn't have to be free. Consider whether your product price could include the cost of shipping so that the price the customer sees on the product page is the price that they pay.

To include your estimated shipping costs in your product price, measure and weigh your packages. If you don’t have weighing scales, or just want to be extra sure, take your packages to your local post office and keep a record of your common item weights for future reference!


Remember that the impact of shipping costs on customers is at its worst when they appear during checkout. Be up front about the true cost of a product, and the results may surprise you.

2. Use A Discount Code

Discount codes are a great way to offer free shipping. Not only can these be sent out by email or social media, but they can even be included in your site's content. Showing the customer a "special" code on the basket page that is going to discount their order straight away is a great incentive for them to checkout.

3. Offer Flat rate Or Minimum Order Value

If you can't get your shipping rate completely to zero, consider offering flat rate shipping (so that costs are the same no matter what the customer orders) or free shipping when an order exceeds a given value.

Some studies have shown that whilst these options are not as encouraging to customers as 100% free shipping, they can lead to larger overall orders from committed customers. This option works best when you have secondary or accessory products to offer, or consumable products.


The Distinguished, a lifestyle based SupaDupa store promotes free shipping with a beautiful banner directly on the landing page. It's clear, simple and straight to the point. The perfect way to catch your shopper's eye.

Free shipping is not the panacea to becoming a successful eCommerce store. It is but one method you can use in your marketing strategy. That said, it should also be noted that if any one such technique does not go as well as you'd hoped, it can always be revised until you find your customer's sweet spot.

Useful Resources

Adobe’s Digital Marketing blog
A great report on why you should offer free shipping during the holiday season.

Web Marketing Today
You'll find great tips on marketing your site online

Small Biz Daily
Provide advice, ideas and inspiration for entrepeneurs

By Fede