By Maria Valdez Haubrich
Is your ecommerce business hoping to compete with big retailers and e-tailers this holiday season? If so, you already know that offering free shipping can make all the difference in whether customers click “buy” or just leave items sitting in their online shopping carts.
More than 250 ecommerce companies, including Lands’ End and Kohl’s, have already signed up for Free Shipping Day. This one-day, online event offers consumers free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. This year, Free Shipping Day will be Monday, December 17. Since Mondays are typically the busiest online shopping days of the week, event founder Luke Knowles says he expects Free Shipping Day sales to match or exceed sales on Cyber Monday.
In 2010, Free Shipping Day beat Black Friday’s online sales by nearly $300 million, and last year, Internet Retailer reported Free Shipping Day had the lowest shopping cart abandonment rate of any day in the last six months of 2011.
You don’t have to be a big company to participate in Free Shipping Day—you just have to guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. You can offer free shipping with restrictions (such as only on orders over a certain dollar amount), or free shipping with discounts (like 10 percent off plus free shipping) to help drive additional sales. You can even limit your offer to end at a certain time of day or when supplies of products run out.
Now in its fifth year, Free Shipping Day continues to get lots of publicity in outlets from The New York Times and “O” Magazine to Fox News, as well as regional newspapers and news broadcasts. Participating companies get listed on the Free Shipping Day website.
The National Retail Federation estimates imports of merchandise in August, September and October will be 8.9 percent higher than last year—forecasting a strong holiday season ahead. Joining Free Shipping Day can help you be part of it. Visit the website to fill out the merchant signup form.
Image by Flickr user VFS Digital Design (Creative Commons)