Free Shipping Customer Retention Summary

Can free shipping help truly compel your customers to buy more often? Here is how the psychology of free shipping can encourage customer retention and boost sales.

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Curagami Take – Free Shipping in 2019

I have a few thoughts about free shipping for next year.

  • More Work
  • Less Work
  • Much Less Work

More Work

My team and I have done a lot of Free Shipping tests. We found the best offer in the 4th quarter is $10 above our sweet spot. Our average order values were $55 in all but the 4th quarter and $64 in the 4th.

We set our free shipping triggers at $60 and $70 making customers work to earn the best deal.

Less Work

Free Shipping on any and everything lowered AOV but increased dollars to the bank, number of orders and new customers. Loyal customers weren’t nearly as turned on by free shipping without a trigger as newbies.

We used the less work option strategically. Dog Days of summer with a new customer outreach to build the file before Christmas and we used no trigger free shipping. We used it in spots during 4Q too. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and day after Christmas were examples of days we used one-day-only no trigger free shipping.

Much Less Work – free out and back

The trend is to offer free shipping out and back. We never tested this option since my C level managers were paranoid about COGS and the chance we would raise return rates.

I think the additional profit and bigger file from free out and back more than pays for any COGs increase but never made that sale. If anyone has done free out and back testing I’d love to hear about it.