Contrary to what you might assume, more than half (55 percent) of abandoned online shopping carts aren’t abandoned because of preemptive buyer’s regret or lack of tablet/smartphone/desktop cart continuity, but because of shipping costs. Now, in some cases, when the purchase is large and heavy and shipping runs into the three or even four-figure range, this might make some sense. But for the vast majority of purchases, where shipping fees generally run between $6 and $20, the fact that such a relatively low add-on cost would deter so many purchases presents an extraordinary opportunity for retailers. In our new Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail report, we found that to deter failed conversions like these, more than three-quarters of the 71 retailers in our report currently offer free shipping. But, as you can see in the chart below, not all free shipping offerings are created equal.
Half of the brands included in the Index ship for free only if a purchase exceeds a certain dollar-amount–an effective strategy that relies on the fact that 75 percent of shoppers are willing to add additional items to their carts to meet required minimums. The average threshold is $132, but the range is wide: from a very reasonable $25 to a ridiculous $500 (Cartier). To recoup even more would-be lost conversions, brands are also offering more ambitious incentives such as free or reduced-price expedited shipping and return shipping. They’re also getting tactical, including these offers in abandoned cart email reminders. To combat retailers’ common enemy, Amazon (Prime), stores like American Eagle Outfitters, Brooks Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger, and Nine West have partnered with ShopRunner to offer free two-day shipping with free returns, prominently advertising the incentive on eligible product pages.