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E‐Commerce » Tips & Facts, Best Practice | 29.07.2015

Should you offer free delivery?


In the modern consumerist world, convenience is a key part of the order fulfilment process; many of us now demand quick deliveries at the minimum cost. According to a recent 2015 survey from Complete Online Shopper, 93% agree that free shipping is essential. But should your business offer free shipping as part of your fulfilment services, and should you contact international parcel companies about integrating this into your plan?

Offer free international shipping

An increasing amount of people are now buying products online from companies using international parcel services. Alex Ikonn from Luxy made a conscious effort to attract the international buyer, by featuring 'FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING' prominently on his website. This has resulted in more happy customers all around the world. Remember though; what works for one company may not work for another.

Have a threshold

If you are allowing free delivery on a low value cart, it probably won't be beneficial to your business. Having a minimum spend will hopefully increase your average order, which should result in extra profits. You could even offer free delivery on specific items to get rid of some old stock. Don't be greedy though; a very high threshold could result in an abandoned cart and a lost customer.

Subscription service

Big retailers have started introducing a subscription service with deliveries, which is a great way to encourage customer loyalty. Asda in particular have great success with their Groceries Delivery Pass, allowing free delivery for a month for just £8, along with even better deals on those investing in a longer pass. Of course not everyone boasts the customer base of Asda, so it may be worth considering whether your customers will engage well with a subscription service.

Test whether it's worth it

Although many businesses claim free shipping increase profits, almost a third say it doesn't. A business dealing in luxury products may find that their customer base is happy to pay for delivery, so offering it for free is an unnecessary incentive. Test it out, and then get in touch with fulfilment houses or fulfilment companies to integrate it into your delivery plan.