Free Shipping Day 2016: Why and How to Participate

If there’s one phrase other than “sale” consumers want to hear this holiday season, it’s “free shipping.” Since 44 percent of online customers abandon their shopping carts because of high shipping costs, you can bet shoppers are looking forward to Friday, December 16—Free Shipping Day. If you aren’t already participating, you might want to consider signing up.

Why Participate?

While sales soared over Black Friday Weekend, only 9 percent of consumers finished their holiday shopping by Cyber Monday. That percentage has gone up over the past couple of weeks, but there is still a lot of shopping to be done. ShipStation predicts over 40 percent of holiday purchases will be shipped within the 10 days before Christmas. Since Free Shipping Day participants must guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve, this is a big day for those who haven’t checked all the names off their list.

Additionally, Free Shipping Day gives you the opportunity to get in front of new audiences. Just two years after its creation, Free Shipping Day became the third-heaviest day for online shopping—and its popularity continues to increase. With so many shoppers taking advantage of the event and seeking free shipping, it’s a good opportunity to leverage the buzz and website traffic from having your business listed on FreeShippingDay.com.

How to Prepare

If shoppers are already flocking to your site for free shipping, it’s best to keep them there as long as possible and one surefire way to do that is with additional discounts. If you can’t afford to offer additional discounts to all shoppers, try providing those discounts to new customers or visitors who have abandoned their shopping carts. Shopify sellers can take advantage of the Abandoned Checkout Recovery feature that allows you to send automated recovery emails encouraging people to come back and complete their order. A well-timed, targeted email can help turn these unrealized sales into new orders.

If you do plan on offering discounts to a broader audience, make sure to promote them in advance of Free Shipping Day since shoppers can’t take advantage of deals they aren’t aware of. Email your customer lists, promote your offers on social media, and create a sharing campaign where customers are incented to spread the word to their networks.

Now that your site is ready for shoppers, it’s critical to have your inventory in order so you’re ready to meet customer demand. During the 2015 holiday season, more than one in 10 items displayed on eCommerce sites were unavailable for customers who attempted to make a purchase, and online out-of-stock rates were 10-15 percent higher than the previous year’s holiday shopping season.

Online out-of-stock rates were 10-15% higher than last year’s holiday shopping seasonClick To Tweet

Since the holiday season is so critical to most retailers, it’s imperative to make sure you’re not missing sales opportunities due to inventory mismanagement. You can avoid common inventory missteps and ensure your stock counts are accurate on every sales channel by implementing an inventory management solution that connects all your eCommerce tools and platforms in one centralized hub.

To learn more about how to avoid costly inventory inaccuracies that perpetuate backorders, join our webinar, Automate Preorders and Backorders, on December 14. We’ll discuss how to automate preorders, backorders, and order splitting to reduce manual labor and increase fulfillment flexibility.

Megan Lierley

Megan Lierley is a content marketer focused on thought leadership and customer stories. When she's not writing, listening to podcasts, or exploring her native Bay Area, Megan enjoys traveling the globe in search of the world's best eggs Benedict.
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