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Free Shipping Day 101: How To Make Best Sales For The Year In Just One Day

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Some Shopify merchants may hate or object to the idea of providing free shipping. We get your feeling: this service is only free for the customers while the businesses bear the cost. And also for some other e-commerce newbies who just heard about this event, you may ask: Free shipping day? Isn't it something so ordinary that happens all the time? What could make this one capture sales more than usual? That said, for both situations, business minds may see numerous potential benefits in providing a perk popular with clients of all demographics. So just hang in there, and let’s show you the overall picture of this day and how Shopify store owners can take advantage and make the best sales for the year in just one day through this blog post.


National Free Shipping Day In A Nutshell

But first, what is National Free Shipping Day?

National Free Shipping Day is a holiday season event generally held on December 14 each year. The idea of this holiday was started in 2008 by Maisie and Luke Knowles, founders of Coupon Sherpa and They noticed from their own data that online shopping tends to take a considerable slump after December 10 because shoppers are scared that orders placed after that date will not be fulfilled in time for Christmas Eve. Knowles organized the first Free Shipping Day within two weeks, assuming that delivering a price reduction would compensate for the sales dip.

Nation Free Shipping Day Founders

The word immediately spread, and over 250 online stores participated in the first event. Total sales for those 24 hours were $764 million, a huge success by any standard. The third Free Shipping Day generated more than a billion dollars in sales. It may not be as well-known as Black Friday sales or Cyber Monday, but it is quickly becoming a must-attend promotional holiday event.

Why do customers love this day so badly?

There are several reasons why they love this one-time-a-year chance:

  • Free shipping everything (Of course): For online shopaholics, the extra charges that accrue on the total number of bills can be a discouragement. While many retailers often offer free shipping during the holiday shopping season, most have conditions, such as a minimum payment or only for specific products. So on National Free Shipping Day, consumers don't have to worry about all this. Your customers can now start shopping until they drop by ordering everything online with no excessive delivery costs. Clients only need to pay for what they actually buy and leave the extra costs to stores participating to handle.
  • Many coupons and gifts are offered: Many online e-commerce businesses even promote the event with coupons. As a result, customers get free shipping and buy their favorite items at a lower price than usual. Shopify also has Discount function to help store owners create coupons code and automatic discounts on customers’ carts.
  • Get assured about the guaranteed delivery date: One highlight of this promotional holiday is that the brands guarantee to fulfill customers’ orders before Christmas Eve, so buyers don't have to worry about what they buy in preparation for the occasion but don't get it delivered on time.

Some interesting facts about National Free Shipping Day you may not know

  • The celebration lasts no more than four days in mid-December, with retailer's partners' special discounts frequently revealed by the 16th.
  • This intriguing holiday was created in response to a study that discovered that offering free shipping can increase online sales by over 90%.
  • The first #Freeshippingday was created and arranged in less than two weeks.
  • During the first three Free Shipping Days, retailers' participation was nearly tenfold.
  • For over the year, the day has outperformed Black Friday in terms of sales.
  • In the year 2011, the holiday generated $1 billion year over year
  • In under 24 months, the holiday rose to become the third most popular online shopping holiday for eCommerce platforms.

Should Your Online Store Participate in Free Shipping Day?

The profits this holiday can bring are unquestionable. But how to offer unlimited one-day delivery can be a big concern. Big and well-known brands can comfortably participate as they have enough budgeted fees for the holiday, but small and new businesses do not. Therefore, we will give some of the plus points of this day for businesses to consider their decision to participate.

  • Satisfy customers’ needs and increase their affection for business: The most obvious reason to run a free shipping promotion at any time of the year: customers love it. Almost one-fourth of all online shoppers have made purchases to bring their total to the required amount to avoid the fee. On the downside, a Baymard study claims that "unexpected shipping costs" are the cause of 48% of customers abandoning their shopping carts in the past. Therefore, customers will be very grateful and especially ‘in love’ with your business for your free shipping offers with no further conditions.
reasons of cart abandonment

    Source: Baymard

    • Boost sales: Given that, many customers will purchase more items simply to be eligible for free shipping. Business owners can use this tactic to increase sales. If you have a strong sense of balance and economics, the discount may be able to pay for itself.

    Some strategies to increase sales that you can apply on this free shipping day: How to Increase Sales: 15 Expert-Backed Tips to Try

    • Attract new customers: Besides the fact that the entire event is designed to help businesses, the majority of your visitors will only notice the word "free." How could they pass up this once-in-a-lifetime chance to place an order for less?
    • Grab the chance to “insert your business into the conversations”: Due to its advantages, most of the e-commerce industry's titans are taking part in this one-day event. Free Shipping Day encourages participation by offering exposure on its official website. A merchant's logo and links to relevant pages on their online store are added when approved, along with the logos of all the titans mentioned above. Thus, your shop might come up somewhere when someone is browsing the categories for deals on specific categories of goods. Who knows? Even if shipping fees are involved later, they might return for more.

    Things To Consider When Participating in Free Shipping Day

    Requirements for participation

    Any online retailers interested in officially participating in Free Shipping Day can fill out a form on the event's website. Any online retailer may register, but the decision regarding which merchants participated will be made by the organizers in order to ensure program quality. So your business will need to at least meet a few requirements, which are listed below, in order to avoid immediate rejection:

    • 24-hour-straight free shipping: Being able to take new orders day or night at any time is one of the advantages of running an online store. Customers, therefore, value this situation, in which time zones and distance are both unimportant. Additionally, they love sales events that are offered for the entire 24-hour period. As a result, the Free Shipping Day promotion mandates that participating stores "offer free shipping on all orders" for the entire day. It must start at 12:01 AM and end no earlier than 12:00 AM of the following day.
    • No minimum order requirements: Many companies offer free shipping, but there's usually a catch. Orders can only qualify if they total more than a specific amount, or occasionally a specific number of items. This practice was tolerated for the first few years of Free Shipping Day because it is so typical. However, after checking the user feedback history, they modified the method in 2013. Another reason for this change: it makes this event a little less unique. Now, the minimum order restrictions for all participating businesses must be lifted. 
    • Delivery by Christmas: This is the big one and undoubtedly the hardest to guarantee. Due to the fact that last-minute shoppers prefer to shop in person rather than online shopping, this occasion was created. Even the most devoted online shoppers may start to worry by late December that their orders won't make it in time. To ensure that customers' packages will be delivered in time for the holiday, any company participating in the event must commit to this promise.

    What you need to prepare for Free Shipping Day

    It's time to get ready once you have the organizers of Free Shipping Day's approval. Waves of customers may come in and out of your store as a result of the exposure and discounts, possibly more than ever. Therefore, be sure to take the following actions, or you won't be able to handle the situation once it arises:

    • Double-check with your suppliers and shippers: If you do not handle the inventory and delivery in-house, it would be for the best to inform the people who do. Before committing to the promotion, check with your shippers to ensure that any orders placed on the big day will be delivered to customers by Christmas. 
    • Stock up: A shortage of supplies in the middle of the day is not something you want to happen. Make sure your customers can purchase the products they desire. You may concentrate more on consistently high-sellers, but it wouldn't hurt to get a little bit more of everything else if you can.
    • Increase your bandwidth: Previous participants have seen record-breaking new highs for the number of customers visiting their store simultaneously. Unprepared businesses with limited bandwidth risk turning away customers or even collapsing.
    • Spread the word: Free Shipping Day can draw new visitors to your website. You can help out by promoting the upcoming promotion on your website, blogging about it, and disseminating email marketing newsletters.
    • Save the date: Free Shipping Day takes place in the middle of December, though the exact day varies from year to year. So constantly update and stay ready if you don’t want to miss out on any news.

    Tips To Make The Most Of Free Shipping Day

    It’s quite advantageous for Shopify merchants since Shopify App Store has a lot of third-party apps with tools that will make your preparation and reviews much easier. All you need to do is search for the keyword ‘free shipping’ and choose the apps that suit your purposes. (For example: Essential Free Shipping Bar has features that we consider an all-in-one free shipping app, it will help you track the progress on free shipping day more easily).

    And here are some ultimate strategies to apply for your Shopify store and bring home the bacon:

    • Fire up your marketing channels: It will not be enough if you just announce the event as usual. You need to constantly (not literally) take care of the media attention. This will help your potential customers keep in mind that your store is getting ready for the event and they please stay tuned for the upcoming offers. Create a massive campaign across all of your business' media platforms and make it big. Segment customers into categories and write at least a few different approaches to generate as much interest as possible. Target customers who haven't bought from you in a while and entice them to return so they can benefit from this one-day sale.
      Further Reading: How To Do Free Shipping on Shopify
    • Create a sense of urgency: Since it's a one-day event, don't be afraid to promote it as a flash sale. Let your customers feel the urgency in participating in your program because it only happens one day of the year and if they miss it, they will have to wait another year to enjoy the unique offers. There are also some apps designed to help you create “urgency” and track the result, you can refer to our suggestion here:
    • Choose the suitable shipment methods: You must be aware of each carrier's holiday shipping deadlines and the services offered to you to avoid making your customers experience a ‘nightmare’ customer service. Moreover, you also need to choose the suitable unit and shipping method based on your delivery schedule and price. If you do it right and choose a cheap and good service, it will help you cut down on a certain number of delivery costs that your business has to bear on this day.
    cut-off dates of shipping companies

      Source: ShippingEasy

      Here are some best eCommerce Fulfillment Services in 2022 that you can refer to: 22+ Best eCommerce Fulfillment Services for Your Online Store

      • Create competition or challenges for customers to celebrate free shipping day: Make your store unique among the participating retailers. An event cannot go without fun and engagement. Therefore, organizing some mini games, contests, or campaigns to connect with customers who use your services will rock. It could be taking pictures with products from your store and updating them on social media with the hashtag #freeshippingday or sharing a story related to your brand. And don't forget to offer them a small reward like free shipping on their next bill or a small discount to motivate them.


      Free shipping day for online shopping season may seem ordinary but can actually bring you countless benefits if you know how to make use of it properly. At first, it sounds impossible for small online merchants, but if you know the right financial balance, nothing is impossible. It requires a lot of preparation and planning if you want to participate in this free shipping day, but hard work pays off. If you don't try, you will never know what you can achieve.With this article, we hope to have been able to help you decide if you should start preparing for it. Even if today's profits may not be as expected, indeed, your store will also receive something more worthwhile that cannot be exchanged with money, such as the trust and love of customers. Finally, have a flourishing free shipping day, and we’ll see you in the following useful articles.

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