This one-day holiday allows consumers to shop from hundreds of online merchants on FreeShippingDay.com with delivery by Christmas Eve.
Sales from 2011’s Free Shipping Day topped $1 billion for the 2,600 participating merchants, making it the highest-earning Friday in retail history, according to comScore. In 2010, the holiday beat out Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday in online sales, with a total of $942 million.
To boost sales even more, this year’s event was pushed to Monday, December 17. “For the first time in our five-year history, we’ve scheduled Free Shipping Day for a Monday, positioning it to compete with Cyber Monday’s online sales,” says event founder Luke Knowles. “Monday’s historically are the heaviest online-shopping day during the holiday season.”
Free Shipping Demanded
While free shipping might seem like a retail incentive, it’s actually an imperative.
Research has shown 90% of consumers spend more when offered free shipping, while nearly half abandon their online shopping carts when such offers aren’t available. A 2011 study by Listrak showed December 16, 2011—the date of last year’s Free Shipping Day—had the lowest rate of shopping cart abandonment during the last six months of 2011.
Based on the success of their year-round coupon website FreeShipping.org, Knowles launched Free Shipping Day, starting in 2008. “We knew merchants would appreciate the opportunity to extend the online holiday shopping season,” said Knowles, “and procrastinating consumers would love being able to shop online without having to fight the crowds in brick-and-mortar stores.”