How to Set up Free Shipping on Shopify
Wondering how to set up free shipping on Shopify? You’re in the right place.
While shipping physical products to customers anywhere in the world will always cost something, giving your customers the option to skip that extra fee can help your business grow.
Offering free shipping means you’ll need to handle the cost of fulfillment yourself, which could lead to some adjustments in your pricing strategy. But even if your base items end up costing more, customers are more likely to buy from you if you offer free shipping.
In fact, 73% of people say they’re more likely to buy an item that includes free shipping, and 24% would even add more products to their basket just to qualify for free shipping.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cut the costs of shipping for customers on your Shopify store. Read on for your ultimate, step-by-step guide.
Why Offer Free Shipping to Customers?
Let’s look at the facts for a moment. While customers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of shopping online, there are still various factors that can convince them to abandon their carts, and cancel a purchase. Slow, or expensive shipping are two common deterrents.
According to one report conducted in 2021, 80% of consumers now expect free shipping from ecommerce companies when they spend a certain amount. Another 66% said they expect to be able to access free shipping on every order.
If you’re not offering free shipping with your products, your customers are happy to abandon your store and look elsewhere. In fact, shipping fees are the reason for nearly 70% of all cart abandonment decisions. Simply put, free shipping gives you an opportunity to increase your sales, convert more customers, and potentially improve customer loyalty.
How to Offer Free Shipping on Shopify: Your Options
The good news for Shopify retailers is that you should have plenty of ways to provide your customers with free shipping. Shopify gives merchants excellent control over their shipping rates, with options to create flat shipping rates, and specific rates for certain geographies.
Your options for free shipping include:
- Using free shipping as default: Setting free shipping as the default “rate” for all orders regardless of cart value, quantity, or other factors.
- Cost-based rates: Automatically applying free shipping discounts to orders based on the overall value of the cart or basket.
- Weight-based shipping rates: Automatically apply free shipping discounts to orders based on the weight of the combined items ordered.
- Free shipping discount codes: Offer free shipping discount codes to customers at specific times, such as during a sales event, or after they make a certain number of purchases.
How to Set up Free Shipping for All Shopify Orders
If you want to set your shipping rate to “free” for all orders, and potentially differentiate your store from some of the competitors in your niche, it’s easy to do so. To get started, log into your Shopify admin account, and navigate to “Settings”, then “Shipping and Delivery”.
In the General Shipping Rates section of the page, click “Manage”. You should see a page outlining all of your current shipping zones.
Scroll down to the button labelled “Add Rate”, and click on it. A pop-up box should appear with an option to “Set up your own rates”. Enter a name for the new rate, and in the price field, enter the number “0”, then click “Done”.
Remember to hit the “Save” button at the top of the page to save your new shipping rates. If you want to apply free shipping for all customers worldwide, follow the same process for each shipping zone.
Setting Up Cost-Based Rates for Free Shipping
Another option is to give customers free shipping when their order reaches a certain value on your store. For instance, you might choose to give customers free shipping on any order over $50, to increase your chances of higher average order values.
To do this, go back into your Shopify admin, then click on “Settings”, “Shipping and Delivery”, and “Manage Rates” again. For each zone, click on “Add rate”, then enter the name “Free shipping”, and set the price value to “0”. Next, click “Add conditions” at the bottom of the pop-up page.
Select the option for “Based on Order Price”, and you’ll be asked to enter a minimum and maximum price for each order that qualifies for free shipping. You can leave the “maximum” section blank.
Once again, click “Done”, and remember to “Save” your settings at the top of the Shipping Rates page before exiting out.
Offering Free Shipping Based on Order Weight
Shopify also allows retailers to offer free shipping to customers based on the weight of the combined items in their order. You might decide to offer free shipping on all lightweight products that don’t cost much in terms of logistics. Or you could choose a minimum weight for free shipping.
To set up free shipping based on Order Weight, follow the steps above to get back to your General Shipping page, and the “Add Rate” section. This time, when you click “Add Conditions”, select the option for “based on item weight”.
You can then enter a minimum or maximum weight for each order to qualify for free shipping, or include both details. Hit “Done” and “Save” when you’re finished.
Creating Free Shipping Discount Codes on Shopify
If you can’t afford to offer free shipping to customers all the time, you can always create discount codes for an occasional free shipping promotion instead. You can then share these codes with customers on social media, or through your email marketing campaigns.
Creating a free shipping discount code is a great way to reward loyal customers for repeat purchases, or just get customers excited about a sale or promotion.
For this free shipping method, you’ll take a slightly different approach. Log into your Shopify admin account, and click on the “Discounts” tab in the left-hand menu.
Next, click the button for “Create Discount”. You’ll see a pop-up offering a range of discount options. At the bottom is the “free shipping” option. Click on that. You’ll be taken to a page where you need to fill out information for your code, including:
- The name of the discount code
- The countries the discount code will apply to
- Shipping rates (if you want to exclude discount codes for orders of a specific value)
- Minimum purchase requirements
- Customer eligibility (if you want to offer free shipping to specific segments)
- Maximum discount uses (how often your customers can use the code)
- Combination (if your code can be used with other discounts)
- Active dates for how long the promotion will be available.
Once you’ve entered all of the applicable information, click the “Save” button to save your discount, and you can start sharing the code with your customers.
Quick Tips for Offering Free Shipping on Shopify
Adding free shipping to Shopify is a relatively straightforward process. However, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for how you’re going to make the most of this strategy. For instance, decide in advance whether you’re going to apply a minimum order threshold to your free shipping offer, to help encourage customers to purchase more.
You might also decide you’re going to use free shipping for a specific purpose, such as to reward the loyalty of your most valuable customers. Other quick tips to keep in mind include:
- Promote your free shipping on your site: Make sure you use shipping bars, promotional banners, and pop-ups to let your customers know that they can access free shipping, and what the conditions of the offer might be. Some Shopify apps even show your customers how many items they need to add to their basket to qualify for free shipping.
- Manage your shipping costs: Remember that you still need to pay for shipping, even if your customers don’t. Consider incorporating the cost of shipping into the base price of your products if you’re going to offer this option as a default. It’s also worth negotiating with shipping and fulfillment carriers for the best possible deal.
- Maximize your marketing: If you’re offering free shipping for a limited time only, as part of a promotional event or sale, then let your customers know! Draw attention to the offer with your email marketing and social media campaigns.
There you have it! Now you’re ready to offer free shipping to your customers, however you like, and potentially increase your average order values as a result. If you need extra help boosting the potential value and conversion rates of your Shopify site, reach out to Storetasker for help from a dedicated Shopify expert.