According to a recent e-commerce study conducted by Stamps.com, the leading provider of U.S. Postal Service online postage and shipping software to approximately 400,000 customers, 64% say that free shipping, with or without minimum spend, is the most effective promotion they can offer during the holiday season.
Of the respondents, 53% will be offering free shipping on more products this year compared to last holiday season.
Walmart’s Free Shipping Initiative
It’s a message retail giant Walmart heard loud and clear. On Thursday, the store upped the ante on online shopping by offering free shipping on nearly 60,000 items with no minimum purchase requirement or subscription fees through December 20. The free-shipping offer includes electronics and thousands of select video games, toys, home appliances, furniture, jewelry, baby items and more.
Coming in second place was another shipping-related promotion: 26% of the respondents chose discounted shipping as an effective tool to drive sales (respondents were allowed to choose multiple answers).
For merchants who require minimum spends in order to qualify for free shipping, 66% of the respondents required an average order size of $50 or more for consumers to get free shipping.
More than half (52%) of the survey respondents who use free shipping with minimum spend report their average order size increases by at least $4. And 37% of the respondents claim to see their average order size increased by $7 or more.
“In today’s economic climate, customers are extremely value conscious,” said Stamps.com president and CEO Ken McBride. “More and more e-commerce retailers are discovering that free shipping is good for their margins, so long as they have an efficient and affordable way to process and ship their orders.”
Nearly half of the respondents (48%) report that low cost is their main consideration when shipping to international destinations, although package tracking and delivery speed are also important concerns.
Other significant findings include:
• 29% of the respondents will offer free shipping on orders of any size, no minimum purchase required.
• 82% of e-commerce merchants expect to have international sales.
• For merchants using social media this holiday season, 54% plan to use the channel to drive sales.
The survey was sent to current Stamps.com customers who operate an e-commerce store.
For the detailed survey, click here.