Are you offering free shipping to your customers, but aren’t sure if it’s the right sales strategy for your business? If so, see what these two (differing) experts have to say:
A free shipping option influences behavior and adds a powerful boost to your average order value
The idea of “free” taps into the psychology of choice, which, by its nature, makes it an effective marketing tool.
According to marketing professional Anna Kegler, seeing a free shipping option gives customers a choice between free shipping and the next cheapest option. In other words, it helps them rationalize buying something online instead of going to a store.
And so they are “choosing” to avoid the inconveniences of traditional shopping.
That’s why offering free shipping gives you more power to influence the shopper’s buying decision – even if you have a minimum dollar amount they have to meet.
Think about it. If you’re placing on online order and have an option to spend $5 more to qualify for free shipping, you probably will, right? And why not, since people generally like to acquire new stuff. So you happily “choose” to increase your order.
“Free shipping influences consumer behavior on a deeply psychological (and often irrational) level,” explains Kegler, “adding a powerful boost to your average order value.”
Free shipping will only be appealing if the user is in the right phase of the buy cycle
“Psychologically, the word “free” implies no risk or downside. But that doesn’t mean that it will hook every user,” says sales specialist Jeremy Smith.
In his opinion, offering free shipping only works for some people, sometimes. In fact, he stresses, other areas of the buy cycle are more crucial for a successful conversion.
Therefore, it’s important to understand how this cycle works.
Simply speaking, it starts with a buyer identifying the problem and searching for solutions. Then they evaluate the various options before making a decision. Finally, they (hopefully) push the online button to complete the purchase.
Thus the shopper won’t be lured in by the offer of free shipping unless they are already in buy mode, insists Smith. “You can’t make someone purchase just by saying “free shipping!” if they’re not even sure that your product is the right one.”
No doubt there are lots of opinions on this topic beyond the ones here. Yet these both bring up valid points to think about when it comes to deciding what’s best for your particular store in the long run.
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