Now in its tenth year, Free Shipping Day attracts thousands of retailers, from big brands to SMEs. However, before wading in, there are a few considerations to make.
Can you honour your commitments?
Unlike big brands, small businesses can’t swallow the loss on margins with such ease. It’s important to calculate all the costings, from labour and packaging to postage. Retailers selling large or heavy items won’t feel the benefit, so remove the items from the offer or don’t get involved.
All products must be with the customer by Christmas Eve, so don’t commit if your courier isn’t onboard. Similarly, make sure you have enough stock to fulfil orders. Managing expectations is essential to building trust and encouraging repeat custom.
Sign up is free for small and independent businesses and if your products are inexpensive to post, your involvement could provide a welcome boost to your year-end figures.
Fill in a brief online form detailing your offers and website information. Merchants must commit to free shipping on all orders, with no minimum purchase and products must be delivered to customers by Christmas Eve. You will receive an email to confirm your involvement and be provided with further details.
In celebration of their 10th year, Free Shipping Day are encouraging merchants to include ‘10’ on their discount codes, such as FreeShippingDay10 or FSD10. Businesses getting involved with the 10th anniversary are more likely to be included in additional PR of Free Shipping Day’s social media campaigns and press release distributions.
Market your involvement
If you decide to go ahead and register, you need to promote your involvement to maximise your web traffic. Get banners up on your website and work in ‘free shipping’ into your websites meta tags. This will help your website feature in search engine results.
Highlight your involvement across your social media channels using #FreeShippingDay. You may even want to consider paid advertising which will allow you to carefully select the audience you want to target. By setting your budget you can easily control spend and measure effectivity.
If you have an email marketing list, reach out to your existing customers and keep them informed. Don’t forget to market how much your customers are saving, as this will encourage customers to commit to the purchase.
Like other retail holidays such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day won't be appropriate for all businesses. If your products lend themselves well to this event, it could be a great opportunity to introduce your business to a new set of customers.