Free shipping has become synonymous with the e-commerce experience and buyers are used to getting a lot of value from every transaction, albeit through hidden costs. Of course, there is no such thing as free shipping. Whether it’s the customer paying through memberships (looking at you Amazon) or Sellers on Etsy dipping into their margins, someone has to pay for free shipping. However, there could be a potential upside to low-cost shipping which begs the question:Does Free Shipping Increase Sales on Etsy? Yes, offering free shipping on Etsy items can increase your shop’s sales without hurting your profit if you adjust your listing prices accordingly.Running a free shipping promotion can boost sales for a few days or weeks but if we are talking about consistent growth and revenue increase then Etsy Sellers need to take a long-term approach to free shipping. Read below to find out how free shipping impacts Etsy sales and what you need to do in order to make it work for your Etsy business!
How Does Free Shipping Work?
The process of setting up and offering free shipping is fairly simple. However, before we get there, you, as an Etsy shop owner, need to make one important decision.You need to choose whether you or the customer will be paying for shipping fees.Yes, in an ideal world shipping would not only be free but instantaneous but we aren’t quite there yet. So, the old adage apple; nothing is free. At some point in the distribution channel, someone has to pay for a delivery company or organization to pick up and drop off orders.Most Sellers think that the right thing to do from a customer service standpoint is to keep prices the same, take on the extra cost of shipping, and essentially squeeze margins.That is a terrible decision that will not only cost you valuable profit margins, increase your workload, and potentially demotivate you, but it may also decrease your overall Etsy traffic and subsequently the number of conversions you get.Before we get into why that is and how offering free shipping can actually increase sales on Etsy let’s go over how you set up free shipping.
How To Guarantee Free Shipping On Etsy
You can offer free shipping on individual listings or set up a sale where a certain dollar amount or purchase quantity will get customers free shipping.However, what Etsy recommends doing is what they call “Guaranteed Free Shipping” which is pretty self-explanatory. Essentially, you guarantee free shipping across your entire Etsy shop.Here’s how you set it up:
Go to your “Shop Manager” on Etsy.
Find “Settings” and click “Shipping Settings” once inside.
In the “Free Shipping Guarantee” tab select “Get Started” then click “Next”.
Then you will have to choose “Set Free Shipping” and you’re done!
You’ll notice that once you set up guaranteed free shipping you will have the option to “Reprice” items in your shop using Etsy’s optional “Smart Pricing Tool”. Many Sellers will skip this part and take on the additional shipping costs.At Sale Samurai we recommend doing what Etsy recommends doing which is to raise your prices!This brings us to the most important part of this article:
Why Free Shipping Works To Increase Sales
A few years back the Etsy CEO revealed that Etsy shops with products over $35 shipping within the United States would have a higher priority in customer search as their listings would get placed above those that don’t offer free shipping.He cited that customers are 20% more likely to finalize a purchase if the shop offers free shipping.While his statements caused a bit of an outrage, what people forget is what followed. The CEO also said that Etsy stores with higher Gross Merchandise Sales would also have their listing prioritized in Etsy search!This brings us to the point that Etsy wants you to raise your rates.Don’t believe us? Ask some of the more seasoned Etsy Sellers and many of them will tell you that Etsy has reached out to them with messages in the past helping them raise prices as a trade-off for offering free shipping on Etsy purchases.So, it’s clear that Etsy wants you to offer free shipping but there’s a catch. If you take on the cost of shipping you risk losing money.The obvious point of loss is when you dip into your already razor-thin margins but what Etsy has confirmed is that you may lose revenue also in the form of less organic exposure from the e-commerce platform itself.Etsy search is an enormous avenue of traffic and discovery for small-business which is why having an optimized shop is crucial to scaling and growing your bottom line.If done right, offering free shipping can increase both your traffic, sales, and even profit.Lucky for you, Etsy has a free “Smart Pricing Tool” that can help you get started and properly raise your prices to cover shipping costs.
When Should I Offer Free Shipping?
We recommend having guaranteed free shipping year-round on all of your Etsy products.However, if that is simply not an option for you, then you could do free shipping promotions throughout the year.The holidays are always a great time to offer special promotions like free shipping. You can also offer the promotion during your Etsy anniversary and make it a weeklong sale to boost sales and get new customers.Offering free shipping in today’s competitive e-commerce environment is a no-brainer. Even if you sell luxury artworks or heavy furniture you can still offer free shipping and work it into your price just at a higher rate. We definitely recommend you try raising your rates and offering free shipping.If you’re serious about growing your sales on Etsy then you need to try Sale Samurai. We are an industry-leading Etsy optimization tool that provides data-driven keywords your customers are searching for and your competitors don’t know about. Contact us today to massively grow your Etsy store!
Did you know the average Sale Samurai user has increased their listing visibility by 180%?
Sale Samurai is your all-in-one tool for massive Etsy growth. With thousands of users and years of e-commerce experience, Sale Samurai is built by sellers with the data and analytics in mind that you need for a successful Etsy shop. Start with a free account to explore how Sale Samurai can help expand your business today.