Free Shipping Is A Major Factor For Most Online Shoppers
For many online shoppers, free shipping is seen as the norm, rather than a perk. A survey by business-to-business review and ratings firm Clutch found that even small shipping costs can strongly impact online shoppers’ interest in a product compared to free shipping.
More than three-quarters of online shoppers (77 percent) say they are very interested in a product when the shipping is free, compared to only 43 percent who say the same for an item with a $2.99 shipping cost. Clutch notes that businesses could lose more than one-third of customers due to a $2.99 price difference. One-fifth of online shoppers (21 percent) say they’re very interested in a product if the shipping cost is $5.99, and only 13 percent say the same for an $8.99 shipping cost.
Clutch relates that a simple solution recommended by small-business owners is to add shipping costs into products’ prices. A higher baseline price may be more appealing to some customers than a cheaper item that requires an extra fee, as the appeal of free shipping can be more about an aversion to paying extra fees than a desire to save a few dollars.
Online shoppers make few product distinctions in their desire for free shipping. Clutch found that nearly one-third of online shoppers (32 percent) expect free shipping for small items and 30 percent expect free shipping for large items.
Amazon may be a factor in shoppers’ expectations, although the trend has spread across the ecommerce industry. Amazon offers free two-day shipping as part of its membership program, Amazon Prime. Clutch found that among Prime members and nonmembers, only slightly more Prime members expect free shipping. More than one-third of Prime members (34 percent) expect free shipping for small items compared to 28 percent of nonmembers. Meanwhile, 32 percent of Amazon Prime members expect free shipping for large items, while 27 percent of nonmembers expect it.