Free Shipping? What does it do to ROI?

Free shipping offers can cost your company a bundle, but they may produce ROI that makes them worth the expenditure. As you explore your options, you will probably be interested in a whitepaper from Experian CheetahMail that examines questions like these:

  • Are more companies deploying free-shipping emails?
  • Are free shipping emails as effective now as they were in the past?
  • Which factors can positively or negatively affect a free-shipping promotion?

At the Hitwise blog, Bill Tancer provides a link to the free, downloadable whitepaper—and highlights its findings on heightened interest in free-shipping offers during the holiday season:

  • People are beginning to search with the term “free shipping” earlier and earlier in the year. In 2007, the first holiday surge occurred early in November; in 2008, however, it happened in mid-October.
  • The most-common searches include a brand name, the phrase “free shipping” and the words “code” or “codes.”
  • “The actual peak for ‘free shipping’ searches each year is the first week of the New Year,” notes Tancer, “as online buyers look for post-holiday sale items.” In the first week of 2009, volume during this period increased 75 percent compared with the first week of 2008. “[G]iven CheetahMail’s data,” he continues, “[this] might indicate a gap between vendor offers and consumer interest.”

Our Po!nt: Before you implement a costly strategy like free shipping, be sure you’re timing your offers for optimum ROI.

Source: Hitwise. Click here for the full post.

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