How to take advantage of free shipping day -- and make a profit

By Vangie Beal, CIO |  IT Management, ecommerce

From big retail outlets to small merchants such as artisans on Etsy, Free Shipping Day offers a nice mix of deals for consumers and puts all participants on level playing ground. That's one reason Kristine Lewis, founder of Crazyartgrrl Jewelry, participates in the yearly event.

"There's always an uptick in sales on Free Shipping Day," she says. "Just as important, our logo gets displayed beside the bigger retailers on the Free Shipping day website. For this one day, we're on equal footing with some of the biggest brands in online retail."

Kara Trivunovic, vice president of marketing services at StrongMail Systems, says that there's no reason not to take advantage of Free Shipping Day. "It's one more free place to get exposure, and it's especially important to get on board with the event if your competitors are participating," she says. "If your competitors are there, you need to be."

6 Ways to Swallow the Cost of Free Shipping

Offering free shipping during the holidays and beyond leaves your business on the hook for the waybill. The good news: Free shipping offers are known to reduce shopping cart abandonment, so you'll get a bit of an upswing in sales to help cover the loss on shipping fees.

When it comes to profits, however, retailers must consider all costs to determine when free shipping is good for business and when it's not. Several ecommerce experts offer six tips to help you get the most value when offering customers free shipping.

1. Extremely cheap can be just as attractive.Trivunovic recommends looking at the average cart value before offering a free shipping deal. If you can't profit from free shipping on all orders, then setting a minimum order amount is fine. Keep in mind that a lower requirement will encourage consumers to respond: Free shipping on orders over $100 isn't as good of an incentive as free shipping on a $35 checkout.

Related: 6 Easy Ecommerce Shopping Carts for Small Business Websites and 10 Open Source Shopping Carts


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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