Free Shipping - Vendor and Consumer Perspectives

Bill Tancer
November 19, 2009 — 1,485 views  
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Our sister company Experian CheetahMail released an insightful white paper on the topic of free shipping email offers (download the paper here). Among several interesting findings, the paper provides some seasonality data on the percentage of clients that sent free shipping offers by quarter. "As expected, the sharpest increase occurred at the end of the year for the holiday shopping season." The paper also notes that free shipping offers were at equal to higher levels when comparing Q1 2008 to Q1 2009.

A couple of interesting observations:

  • "Free shipping" search breadth has been accelerating earlier each year, with 2008 holiday season searches beginning in mid-October (in 2007 "free shipping" searches began ramping early November)

  • The actual peak for "free shipping" searches each year is the first week of the New Year, as online buyers look for post-holiday sale items

  • "Free shipping" searches have increased 75% comparing the first week of 2008 versus 2009, which given CheetahMail's data might indicate a gap between vendor offers and consumer interest.

  • By utilizing our Search Intelligence tools, we can also see that during the height of "free shipping" searches, the most common search phrases contain a brand name "free shipping" as well as the word "code" or "codes".

Bill Tancer