Free Shipping Day was December 12 in Canada and December 16, 2011 in the United States — and consumers, naturally, ate it up. But did it do what it was supposed to do for small businesses? Did it provide an extra shot of revenue during the busy holiday season? Let’s check in on Twitter to see what people had to say.
Procrastinators, Your Time Has Come (to Shop)
Notice that @CouponCabin was spreading the word to encourage shopping. “And the shoppers went wild!” as you can see from the person responding to @CouponCabin ….
And then you had interested people like Susan Wenner Jackson (@SusanWJackson) spreading the word to help her followers with a tip.
And these tweets were just the tip of the iceberg. All over Twiter, consumers tweeted free shipping codes and shared links on Free Shipping Day. According to ComScore, 36% of shoppers say they wouldn’t make an online purchase without free shipping, so the frenzy was understandable on Friday.
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Love the positive press and let’s hope that some of that money got down to SMBs, not just the big ecoommerce sites.
How big part is the shipping of the total amount of online sales? Do you have a general rule of thumb as a percentage figure? Adlibris is an online book (in the Nordic countries) seller that is giving away free shipping as standard practice. They have done it for a long time, as an extra value included in the general business transaction.
So, did Free Shipping Day help small businesses? I am not sure we will have hard proof of it one way or the other, anytime soon.
It’s hard to tell the exact dollar benefits for small businesses. Large corporations report their sales for a variety of reasons — not the least of which is that some companies are public and so report their numbers for analysts and legal reasons. It’s much harder to get data for a large group of small businesses. I think we’re reduced to looking at blogs and case studies after the fact – to see if any retailers report successes.
Or we’ll see the impact indirectly next year, if this thing grows in 2012.