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2 min read

How to strategically offer free shipping

How to strategically offer free shipping

Free shipping is a trend that is here to stay. In February of 2005 Amazon prime was created with its universal free shipping. And this was the start of the customers expectation shift.

Free Shipping is widely appealing and can be a factor that drives sales. But should it be offered universally? Not always. If done strategically you are able to save money and drive sales even stronger than just offering it universally.

This especially applies as you are still growing your brand.

Offering free shipping, and only offering free shipping, can be detrimental to your profit and cause large losses if you aren’t making up for it somehow. That’s not an expense you want to be worrying about as you begin your business. Below are some strategies to offer free shipping: 

Cart Minimum

Create a cart minimum. A great way to drive sales is by offering free shipping once a minimum amount of money spent is crossed. This gives the buyer a big incentive to spend a little extra cash in order to gain the free shipping that consumers love.

Ecommerce shopping on phoneThe trick for this strategy is setting the minimum at a correct range. If all your products are over $100 and you have a $50 minimum for free shipping, then you aren’t doing it correctly.

If set at the right level, you incentivize the consumer to make another purchase that will make up for the loss in shipping cost.

Multiple lanes

A great way to add value to your cart and give the customer more choice is by creating multiple shipping lanes. Using, what we like to call, cart psychology

Instead of just offering free shipping, broaden the choices with a few other alternatives, each one being faster and more costly than the one prior.

Shipping Lanes

People who need the product right then and there are willing to pay extra for the speed. There is no need to offer it to everyone for free right off the bat. If you’re willing to wait more time, then the slower free shipping is for you.

By giving the customer options you increase the customer experience and save yourself money. Even potentially making yourself money depending on if you’re willing to markup the other shipping cost alternatives.

Tools like BUKU IntelliRate allow brands to offer multiple lanes that based on rules around shopping cart total, zone, and weight to adjust the prices of each lane.

Brand Loyalty Program

Building an email marketing list is important for any growing brand. Having a place to send promotional emails to customers is a great way to increase potential sales.  

Display the promotion for free shipping on your site. Once the customer has a product selected let them know that if they want free shipping today the only thing they have to do is sign up to become a member.

Have a place where they can fill in vital information for you such as name, number, email address, etc.

With this information you can now run targeted marketing campaigns to previous buyers. And the customer gets the free shipping they desire. It’s a win win.


Free Shipping

A good promotion that any brand can run that will help drive sales and interest is offering 

free shipping on a limited-time offer. That incentivizes the consumer to purchase the product there and then. Helping convert the average viewer into a potential customer.

When you start offering the limited-time free shipping the most important part is being able to advertise it.

Make sure you get the word out. Spreading this promotion across multiple platforms is the only way to gain new and motivated buyers.


All of these strategies have been tested and proven to be successful. You as as brand now need to experiment and find which one works best for you. 

If you're interested in learning about what other eCommerce brands are doing and what you can learn from them, check out our article, "The Rise of Influencer eCommerce". 



BUKU’s IntelliRate

BUKU offers a software to assist in multiple fronts of what was discussed in this blog.

With this software you can:

  • Go from a single lane to multiple
  • Find the best rates for every purchase
  • Have the ability to set a free shipping offer at a specific cart minimum

Learn more at:


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