The Free Delivery Phenomenon: Unveiling the Impact on Businesses and Consumers

Businesses constantly seek strategies to attract and retain customers. One such strategy, offering free delivery, has become increasingly popular, but its true impact can be multifaceted and complex. This blog delves into the impact of free delivery on both businesses and consumers, analyzing its benefits and potential drawbacks, and highlighting the growing consumer preference for this perk.

Free Delivery: The New Normal

Free delivery has evolved from a marketing tactic to an expected standard for many online shoppers. Here are some statistics that showcase this shift:

  • A whopping 90% of consumers would shop online more often if given the option of free delivery (Source: Capital One Shopping)
  • Studies by Shopify reveal that 66% of consumers expect free shipping on all online purchases (Source:
  • Nearly half (48%) of online shoppers abandon their carts due to shipping costs (Source: Baymard Institute)

These statistics paint a clear picture: Free delivery is no longer a novelty, it's a necessity for many online shoppers. At Oak Haven Solutions, we've consistently observed this trend. Customers prioritize the convenience and cost-effectiveness of free delivery, significantly impacting their purchasing decisions.

Benefits for Businesses:

While some businesses might hesitate due to potential profit margin concerns, offering free delivery can unlock a multitude of benefits:

  • Increased Sales and Conversion Rates: Studies consistently show that free delivery encourages customers to add more items to their cart, pushing them closer to the purchase threshold. Our data at Oak Haven Solutions reflects this trend, with businesses offering free delivery experiencing a notable increase in average order value.
  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: Eliminating delivery costs can be perceived as a valuable benefit, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. This translates to repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth recommendations, fostering a thriving customer base.
  • Improved Competitive Advantage: In a crowded online space, offering free delivery can differentiate your business from competitors, attracting customers who prioritize cost savings and convenience. This can be a significant edge, especially in markets where competition is fierce.
  • Boost in Average Order Value (AOV): Free delivery can incentivize customers to purchase additional items to reach the minimum order amount required for free shipping, increasing the AOV and overall revenue for your business. This sweet spot can be strategically determined to maximize profitability while offering a perceived benefit to the customer.

Potential Drawbacks for Businesses (and How to Mitigate Them):

  • Reduced Profit Margins: The cost of fulfilling orders, including packaging and shipping, can be significant. Businesses offering free delivery need to carefully calculate the impact on their profit margins. However, there are ways to mitigate this. Implementing a minimum order value for free shipping or strategically adjusting product pricing can help offset these costs.
  • Potential for Order Abuse: Some customers might exploit free delivery by placing smaller, more frequent orders, increasing fulfillment costs without proportional revenue gains. This can be addressed by setting reasonable minimum order quantities for free shipping or offering tiered free shipping options based on order value.
  • Strategic Implementation Required: Simply offering free delivery might not be the most effective strategy for every business. Careful planning regarding minimum order value, product pricing, and targeted promotions are crucial to maximize benefits and minimize drawbacks. At Oak Haven Solutions, we help businesses develop data-driven free delivery strategies that optimize their online presence and profitability.

Impact on Consumers:

The consumer benefits of free delivery are undeniable:

  • Increased Convenience and Cost Savings: Free delivery offers greater convenience and reduces the overall cost of online purchases, providing a clear benefit for consumers. This can make online shopping even more attractive compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Lower Purchase Thresholds: Consumers might be more likely to make smaller purchases online due to the absence of additional delivery charges. This can lead to increased buying frequency and a stronger relationship with the online retailer.
  • Potential for Impulse Buying: Free delivery can encourage impulse buying as the perceived cost barrier is lowered, potentially leading to unplanned expenses. Consumers should be mindful of this and make informed purchasing decisions.


Offering free delivery can be a powerful strategy to attract customers, boost sales, and improve conversion rates. However, it's crucial for businesses to carefully consider the impact on their financial viability and implement this strategy thoughtfully. Consumers, on the other hand, benefit from increased convenience and potential cost savings. It's the new normal.

Contact us today for a free consultation and discuss the best digital marketing approach for your unique business.