Jul 23 2012

When Should Online Retailers Offer Free Shipping? [Infographic]

Many e-commerce sites offer free shipping as an incentive to get consumers to shop online, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be conditions.

You've got mail! While this saying was associated with Aol's signature e-mail sound bite from the 1990s, it's also a phrase that every online shopper loves to hear. While e-commerce has changed the way people shop, it's still limited by the fact that it takes time to ship the actual product. Meanwhile, customers of brick and mortar stores have the luxury of instant gratification, as they get to walk out of the store with their product in hand.

In order to combat this disadvantage, online retailers have long been offering free shipping as an incentive to shop online. Sure, customers still have to wait for their product to arrive, but at least they no longer have to pay for their product to be sent and wait for its delivery.

It's a good thing that e-commerce companies have gone the free shipping route too. According to data compiled by Marketing Zeus in an infographic, more than one third of online shoppers said they would not make a purchase without a free shipping offer. So at this point, the incentive has now turned into a must-have.

But that doesn't mean businesses can't apply conditions to free shipping offers. Some businesses have a minimum order that must be met before a customer qualifies for free shipping, while others only offer free shipping on select items.

For more information on how businesses are handling free shipping, check out the full infographic from Marketing Zeus, below.

Free Shipping: The Pros and Cons
Browse more data visualizations.