How to Offer Free Shipping on a Small Budget

May 30th, 2023 Comments off

What would you say if we told you 68% of customers take shipping costs into account when deciding whether or not to purchase an item? That’s exactly what our recent study found. With more than half of customers expecting free or low shipping costs, it’s worth taking into account. We understand offering free shipping might not be an option for your business year-round. However, there are ways to still meet customer expectations without breaking the bank. 

Offer free shipping during big holidays 

Offering free shipping during big holidays like Christmas or popular sales times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a given. But, you might be missing out on sales by limiting free shipping promotions during the holiday season. Holidays like Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July also include discounts and sales, so they serve as an opportune time to offer free shipping to customers. If you can’t offer free shipping throughout the year, utilizing other holidays to offer free shipping is the way to go. 

Set a minimum cart value

We’ve all seen in-cart messages that show us how much more we need to spend to qualify for free shipping. If customers are close to the free shipping threshold, they’ll be more likely to add a couple more items to their cart. This especially rings true during big shopping seasons. Add a minimum cart value that makes sense for your business to provide customers with a free shipping option. 

Additionally, you can make free shipping available for more expensive items to give customers an added incentive to complete their purchases. In our study, almost 61% of customers stated high shipping costs were the number one reason preventing their repeat business. Your business might not be able to offer free shipping on all purchases. But, your customers will appreciate the effort to incorporate free shipping where you can. 

Reward repeat customers with free shipping 

Customers return to your business because they had a positive experience and like your products. Keep customers coming back through exclusive offers like free shipping. Whenever customers share photos of your products on social media, ask if you can repost the content and send them discount codes for free shipping or sales on their favorite items; reward followers with giveaways that range from free products to exclusive deals. 

Social media isn’t the only way to promote free shipping! merchants can customize branded ship notification emails. These emails allow you to personalize a tracking page to include your logo, social media links, and a promotional message to boost the visibility of any running sales. Customers will receive emails throughout the shipping process, so they can take note of any sales. Those who order from your business regularly will be the first to know about free shipping or upcoming sales. 

Prioritize free returns 

Free returns are becoming increasingly important with customers. In fact, our study found 81% of customers believe returns should always be free. Free returns and free shipping might not fall within your business’s budget, so we recommend prioritizing free returns. The customer expectation around free returns is higher than free shipping, so offering free returns is crucial. As we’ve mentioned, you can offer free shipping during holidays and over a certain threshold, but free returns should be accessible for every order. 

Tips for offering free shipping

  • Offer free shipping during holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July along with Christmas and other major holidays. 
  • Calculate a free shipping threshold and include in-cart messaging to show customers how much more they need to spend to qualify for free shipping. 
  • Incentivize customers with free shipping and promo codes through social media and branded ship notification emails. 
  • Prioritize free returns over free shipping because customers have a higher expectation for online returns.

How to Share Shipping Deadlines with Your Customers

April 28th, 2023 Comments off
Display your shipping deadlines Prominently

It’s officially time to hang your stockings by the chimney with care…and post shipping deadlines for all your customers! You understand the importance of shipping deadlines, but your customers may not. Knowing the shipping deadlines for carriers can help your customers avoid any late gifts. The best way to stress the significance of shipping deadlines is to post them everywhere you can on your site. This way, your customers can’t avoid seeing these dates. 

To help you get started, we’ve gathered a list of tips from creating popups and in-cart messages to promoting these deadlines in your email campaigns and on social media. Communicating these deadlines clearly and creatively with your customers will give them a positive shipping experience and impression of your business. And hopefully, they’ll leave a holly jolly review for your business.

Make a dedicated holiday shipping page

Your customers should easily be able to find the shipping information they’re looking for. Making a page dedicated to the holiday shipping deadlines each year helps your customers by keeping all of the dates in one place. You can include this page in your marketing efforts by linking to it in email campaigns or sharing it on social media. Your customers will appreciate not having to scour the internet for dates, and you’ll also have a sheet for you and your team to reference during the busiest shipping season of the year.

Example of's dedicated shipping deadline page in order to receive an iPhone before Dec. 24.
Example of’s dedicated shipping deadline page in order to receive an iPhone before Dec. 24.

Create a popup

We know that popups can be annoying, but they can be beneficial when it comes to communicating something major to your customers. Popups are hard to ignore which, in this case, is a good thing! However, we do recommend using your best judgment with popups. Don’t block other important parts of your site; opt for a side-scrolling popup instead. This way, your customers aren’t frustrated and close out of the shipping deadlines before fully realizing what they are.

Example of a popup window on highlighting the holiday shipping deadlines.
Example of a popup window on highlighting the holiday shipping deadlines.

Send a “last day to order” email

Let’s face it — the holiday season is super busy, so it’s easy to forget things. Shipping deadlines are no exception. Remind all of the customers on your email list, including those who abandoned their carts, about shipping deadlines throughout the holiday season. Especially the closer it gets to the cutoffs. Although you may include them in your email campaigns throughout the season, it’s better to send one, final email a couple of days before the shipping deadlines hit. Using a subject line that includes something about the “last day to order” just might do the trick for all of your last-minute shoppers who need a nudge.

Example of an email sent by messaging the last day to receive free ground shipping.
Example of an email sent by messaging the last day to receive free ground shipping.

Add shipping questions to your FAQ page

FAQ pages can be essential during the holiday season. If your business has a clear and comprehensive FAQ section, your customers can avoid having to contact your business via call, chat, email, or whatever other customer service lines you have available. Giving your customers the option to find answers for themselves is a quick and easy way to boost their shopping experience. Some questions to answer in your FAQ section include: 

  • How much does shipping cost?
  • Do you offer overnight delivery?
  • When is the last day to purchase to receive a package by Dec. 24?
  • Do you ship to a PO Box?
  • Which shipping carriers do you use?
  • Do you ship to international addresses?
  • How can I track my package?
  • How quickly do you process orders at your warehouse from the time of order?
  • What do I do if I haven’t received my package?
  • What is your returns policy? 
Example of highlighting shipping questions on their FAQ page.
Example of highlighting shipping questions on their FAQ page.

Add in-cart messaging

If a potential customer has already added a product to their cart, it’s up to you to convince them to complete their purchase. How can you give them the push they need? In-cart messaging is a great way to start! Add messaging that includes shipping deadlines as well as information about when their order will ship and if free shipping is included. Your customers will appreciate all of the proactive communication, and they’ll be more likely to finish their checkout. 

Example of a shipping deadline clock counting down inside a cart managed by WooCommerce.
Example of a shipping deadline clock counting down inside a cart managed by WooCommerce.

Promote express shipping as deadlines pass

Sometimes, customers won’t be able to make their purchases before some of the earlier shipping deadlines. Although it’s more expensive, it’s still a good idea to highlight the expedited shipping options your business offers. Your customers will be more likely to use these options during this time of the year, and with Christmas on a Sunday this year, they might really need expedited shipping options where available. 

An example of highlighting express shipping is still available after the Ground shipping deadline.
An example of highlighting express shipping is still available after the Ground shipping deadline.

2022 domestic holiday shipping deadlines 

Now that we’ve shown you how to communicate the 2022 holiday shipping deadlines to your customers, it’s time to give you those deadlines! We’ve listed the shipping deadlines for UPS, USPS, and FedEx below. 

UPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines

  • UPS 3 Day Select®: Monday, December 19, 2022 
  • UPS 2nd Day Air® services: Wednesday, December 21, 2022
  • UPS® Ground shipping: Check for details
  • UPS Next Day Air® services: Thursday, December 22, 2022

USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines

  • USPS Retail Ground™: Saturday, December 17, 2022 
  • First Class MailⓇ: Saturday, December 17, 2022 
  • Priority MailⓇ: Monday, December 19, 2022
  • Priority Mail ExpressⓇ*: Friday, December 23, 2022 

*Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed December 22-25

FedEx Holiday Shipping Deadlines

  • FedEx GroundⓇ Economy: Thursday, December 8, 2022 
  • FedEx GroundⓇ:  Wednesday, December 14, 2022 
  • Home DeliveryⓇ: Wednesday, December 14, 2022 
  • Express SaverⓇ: Tuesday, December 20, 2022
  • 2DayⓇ Services: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 
  • FedEx Same Day: Friday, December 23, 2022


Shipping deadlines are more than dates on a calendar. These cutoffs are the last possible day your customers can order gifts and still have them arrive in time for the holidays. It may feel like you’re overcommunicating, but it’s easy to lose track of time during the holiday season, so reminders can be extremely helpful. Using your website, social media, and other pieces of your online presence to give your customers shipping deadlines elevates your customer service and shows your customers you care about their holiday season. 

Keep the holiday cheer going all year round with a 30-day free trial to Announces Integration With ShipStation

September 24th, 2014 Comments off


We are excited to announce’s new integration with ShipStation, a web-based shipping solution that helps online retailers process and ship their orders using multiple carriers including FedEx, USPS, UPS and DHL.

When using ShipStation’s web-based interface, customers can compare shipping rates and easily select the lowest cost carrier for each package. All order data is automatically backed up in the cloud and is accessible from any computer.

The new integration will allow ShipStation customers to access their accounts without ever leaving the ShipStation interface.

ShipStation automatically retrieves and consolidates order information from over 40 sales channels, including:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Newegg
  • Etsy
  • Shopify
  • Magento
  • Volusion
  • Bigcommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • SquareSpace
  • Plus many more

Check out ShipStation’s free trial today – no credit card required.

Video: 10 Holiday Shipping Tips for Ecommerce Sellers

September 24th, 2014 Comments off

Need some last minute tips to help get your holiday e-commerce orders shipped? Watch this video to learn the secrets to simple order fulfillment.

Happy Holidays!

Free! Holiday Shipping Survival Guide for E-commerce Retailers

September 24th, 2014 Comments off has released the Holiday Shipping Survival Guide for E-commerce Retailers! The FREE, downloadable guide provides online sellers with best practices and industry data to optimize their shipping and increase sales during the 2011 holiday season.


Even for the most seasoned online sellers, the holiday rush during the fourth quarter can present obstacles to efficient shipping. eMarketer™ projects that this year’s fourth quarter will increase 13.5% and produce a record-breaking $59.7 billion in online sales. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive guide with the information online sellers need to maximize their shipping process, meet the needs of their customers, and drive more revenue.

The Holiday Shipping Survival Guide for E-commerce Retailers features:

  • Eight Tips on Holiday Shipping
  • Seven Free Shipping Promotions
  • Using SCAN Forms to Improve Customer Communication
  • Eleven Ways to Improve Packaging
  • Important Industry Tips, Stats and Dates

Download the free guide today! It’ll help you wrap up a successful holiday season.

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