For Free Shipping Day, minimum orders are fine for your promotion. If you skip on free shipping and opt to just give customers a good deal instead, Trivunovic recommends you look at your average shipping costs and set an attractive flat shipping fee, such as $5 shipping on any order with no minimum cart value. A low flat fee-from which you can exclude heavy, bulky items that are costly to ship-will help keep your losses in check and still provide an incentive for customers to check out.
2. Take advantage of the best shipping options.Amine Khechfe, general manager and co-founder of Endicia, a Newell Rubbermaid brand, says that online shoppers expect free shipping and that not offering it can mean losing business to the competition.
Still, he says, times are tough. Retailers need to account for every dollar spent and find ways to offset hard costs such as postage. For example, the United States Postal Service is often the most affordable option for packages five pounds or less. "If you aren't integrating the USPS into your shipping mix," Khechfe says, "you are probably leaving money on the table."
3. Promote free shipping early and everywhere. If you want to participate in the Free Shipping Day, Alibaba.com Director of Global Marketing Michael Lee suggests you promote it to build awareness. Tell customers about the deal, and your participation in Free Shipping Day, through emails and social media channels including Facebook and Twitter. "Consider showcasing hot products days leading up to the event to help people build their wish list and reveal special discounts for the day to generate more excitement," he suggests.
Each retailer who participates in Free Shipping Day gets a unique URL to direct customers to its page the on the Free Shipping Day website, Knowles says. Use these URLs on your site, in email or on social media to extend your promotional marketing.
4. Be selective about what you ship for free. If you can't offer free shipping on all items, then Harry Hirschman, vice president of marketing, sales and customer service for Vendio, suggests that you "identify items that are overstocked or that have great margins and offer those to customers with free shipping."
Just because you offer free shipping, he adds, doesn't mean you can skimp on packaging material. Addressing damaged or broken products can cost more in the long run than using proper packaging, Hirschman says.