Free Shipping — The Beloved Holidays Deal

The pre-Christmas shopping season is gaining speed and volume every day, and it seems appropriate to look into what seems to be the best converting, and most demanded holiday offer.

Many consumers will be looking for coupons, but merchants that cannot offer these can still offer something for their affiliates to market aggressively. I am referring to what seems to be the most beloved Christmas offer from a consumer’s standpoint — the free shipping offer. It will be especially actively sought for over the next few weeks, and it is one proven way to increase conversions.

Hitwise Intelligence has published some statistical data which shows that the “the sharpest increase” in free shipping demand historically occurs “at the end of the year for the holiday shopping season”:

Free shipping demand

It is also interesting to note that since 2006 the “search breadth” for the “free shipping” key phrase “has been accelerating earlier each year” reaching its pinnacle “is the first week of the New Year, as online buyers look for post-holiday sale items” [more here].

A few days back the Internet Retailer has also published an article with stats and patterns that the top 100 e-tailers follow in regards to deals, discounts, and free shipping. Here are some of the key points that have been made about the subject of this post:

  • The number of e-tailers who offer free shipping this year has grown from 61 to 63
  • 44% of them attach the free shipping deal to a minimum order value
  • Minimum order value ranges from $30 to $699, but in most cases the bracket is $30-$75

If you are not yet offering free shipping through your affiliate program (and/or any other online marketing channels), now is the time to do it!

3 thoughts on “Free Shipping — The Beloved Holidays Deal”

  1. Since shipping rates increase substantially outside of the US (and also shipments going to Hawaii and Alaska), how do US merchants who ship internationally handle/limit the highly sought-after free shipping offer?

  2. I’ve just had a quick look through the Free Shipping policies of several Internet Retailer Top 500 List (I know, they talked about the top 100, but I looked through their top 500 list), and many merchants limit the offer to continental US only:


    • – “Free Standard Shipping is available on purchases of $45 or more within the Contiguous U.S.”
    • – “…only valid for orders that qualify for and ship via UPS Ground Shipping within the contiguous lower 48 States (AK, HI, PR and International orders are excluded)”
    • Foot Locker – “Offer is limited to delivery within the Continental US, excludes APO/FPO addresses”
    • OfficeMax – “Free Delivery on most orders over $50” within “Continental U.S.”

    However, some merchants do offer Free Shipping on all US orders.


    • AC Lens – “We offer free regular shipping on all US orders over $99”
    • – “Free on Orders $25 and Over” and “applies to U.S. delivery addresses in the 50 states only, including Alaska and Hawaii”

    No one seems to offer this on International orders, and understandably so.

  3. We have done free shipping offers a few times and it bumps sales for sure. We put a minimum buy of $300 as our hydrogen generator kits range from $500-$800, but we sell individual parts too.

    We even ran a short time free shipping to anywhere in the world which was a big hit, but is costly.

    Sales and product launches are the best marketing tools for us. Our recent new product launch (Hybrid Cell Hydrogen Generators) at the end of October (this year) sold out our entire inventory in 3 days (over a 100 kits) ranging from $497 to $797. Over $45K in sales…not bad for 3 days.

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