Free Shipping: Optional or Required?

Posted on October 14th, 2019 by Mary Caitlyn Polovich

The importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday isn’t new information to any retailers. But the question is — how does your company stand out in the crowd during the craziest shopping days all year? 

Offering free shipping is a crucial tactic to turn your audience from viewers to consumers. The percentage of US eCommerce transactions that included free shipping on November 25 rose from 72% in 2015 to 87% in 2018. Consumers love convenience, even more so when it is cost-effective. Most consumers have come to expect free shipping when shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monda and when it isn’t available will quickly abandon their cart and turn to a competitor that does offer free shipping. 

Etsy has recently joined the growing number of retailers offering free shipping during high traffic periods. Etsy is the go-to online store for personalized gifts, and their policy change really emphasizes the fact that not meeting the consumer’s standard of free shipping means a lot of lost sales. Along with the new policy, Etsy launched its first-ever TV campaign for Black Friday and Cyber Monday to promote the unique items they offer along with their new policy for free shipping. 

Unfortunately, some companies do not have the ability to offer free shipping. For these retailers, the best way to combat potential lost sales is to offer their customers Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store (BOPIS). This method provides a win-win for both consumers and retailers as the customer doesn’t have to pay for shipping and the retailer doesn’t have to eat the cost of shipping a product for free. 

Let us know in the comments: Is your company planning to offer free shipping this Black Friday or Cyber Monday?