Survey: 64% say free shipping is most effective holiday promotion

Los Angeles A survey of e-commerce retailers released Thursday by Stamps.com found that free shipping is the most effective sales promotion heading in to the holiday season.

In Stamps.com’s latest survey on e-commerce shipping practices, 64% of respondents report that free shipping, with or without minimum spend, is the most effective promotion they can offer during the holiday season, and 53% will be offering free shipping on more products this year compared to last holiday season. More than half (52%) the survey respondents who use free shipping with minimum spend report their average order size increases by at least $4.

“In today’s economic climate, customers are extremely value conscious,” said Stamps.com president and CEO Ken McBride. “More and more e-commerce retailers are discovering that free shipping is good for their margins, so long as they have an efficient and affordable way to process and ship their orders.”

Of merchants offering free shipping with a minimum spend, 66% of respondents require an order value of $50 or higher, according to the survey.

Twenty-nine percent of the respondents will offer free shipping on orders of any size, no minimum purchase required. The majority (82%) of e-commerce merchants expect to have international sales. For merchants using social media this holiday season, 54% plan to use the channel to drive sales.