FREE SHIPPING! There are no better words for holiday shoppers to see or hear. This Friday, over 980 retailers will participate in Free Shipping Day by offering free shipping with no order minimums in an effort to attract last-minute shoppers and boost holiday sales.
Forrester has reported 44% of online customers abandon their shopping carts because of high shipping costs, making this a great opportunity to not only capture new customers but also re-engage ones that might have left items in their shopping carts in the face of previous shipping prices.
Since offering free shipping has been proven to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and increase revenue by potentially 10%, here are a few ways you can capitalize on Free Shipping Day this year:
1. Get Your Business Listed on FreeShippingDay.Com
Leverage the buzz (and web traffic) around Free Shipping Day by getting your business listed on FreeShippingDay.Com. This is the site that started the annual holiday in 2007, and provides a directory of retailers who are participating. The only requirement is that you must offer “free shipping with no minimum purchase on Dec. 18, 2015 with delivery by Christmas Eve.”
2. Sweeten the Deal with Additional Discounts
This is your last chance to reach shoppers before Christmas, so optimize your sales opportunities as much as possible. Help your business cut through the free shipping noise by offering additional single-day sales.
If you can’t afford to offer additional discounts to all shoppers, try providing those discounts to new customers or visitors who’ve 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 and targeted email can help turn these unrealized sales into new orders for your business.
3. Make Your Offers Highly Visible On All Your Sales Channels
Shoppers can’t take advantage of deals they aren’t aware of, so make sure your free shipping offers are prominently highlighted on all your online stores. And really get the word out by:
- Emailing your customer lists with discount information before and on Free Shipping Day
- Promoting your offers throughout social media networks
- Encouraging Free Shipping Day customers to share the deals they got with their social networks
4. Prepare Your Inventory
Since you’ll be driving more traffic to your online stores, you need to make sure all your top items are in stock and being updated in real-time across all your sales channels. Nothing will turn off new visitors more than you promising them items that aren’t actually in stock or displaying sold-out signs on their favorite items.
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.
5. Nail Down Your Fulfillment Strategy
You’ve capitalized on this holiday to boost sales, now you need to ensure your fulfillment teams can keep up with the influx of orders. Since Free Shipping Day is the last day most online retailers can guarantee orders will arrive by Christmas Eve, the pressure is really on for your shipping and fulfillment teams to, well, deliver.
Many SMB retailers use eCommerce shipping solutions like ShipStation or Amazon FBA for fast and reliable fulfillment and returns processing. To further simplify and optimize your operations, these shipping and fulfillment systems should be linked directly to your inventory control system. With a centralized inventory and operations solution in place, your business will be all set for end-of-the-holiday-season success!
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