According to Huboo research, just 14% of shoppers expect their products to show up within 48 hours of ordering, and this level of speed usually only matters if the product is needed urgently. 

In contrast, Huboo suggests that the majority of shoppers are happy to wait two or three days – that is, as long as they don’t have to pay the cost of delivery. Shopify research from June 2020 backs up the importance of free delivery, with 62% of consumers saying that this is a differentiating factor when choosing local delivery (over standard shipping). Just 32% of consumers say they would value faster delivery times.

So, how are ecommerce sites promoting free delivery? Often, via an ecommerce website’s online value proposition (OVP). An OVP, according to Econsultancy’s Ecommerce Best Practice Guide, “helps to answer the question that is already in the customer’s mind: ‘Why should I buy from you compared to each and every alternative that I have?'”

Let’s take a look at 15 current examples, some via OVPs on homepages, others via product pages, email, and even as incentives after checkout…

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Most retailers promote free delivery with a minimum spend, in order to encourage customers to increase their order cost. However, Next is one of the few retailers that promotes it after the customer has checked out. Here, the retailer informs shoppers that they can qualify for free delivery if they buy something else within 30 minutes, perhaps making them re-think if there’s any items they’ve missed…

next delivery
Image: Next


Many online retailers strive to offer both free and fast delivery, often using a subscription plan to facilitate it. These services – whereby shoppers pay a monthly fee for unlimited free delivery – encourage customers to shop more frequently, as well as place higher cost orders.

Asos was one of the first to offer a delivery subscription, and the online retailer still ensures that Premier Delivery is prominently promoted on the homepage and throughout its website. The words ‘free’, ‘unlimited’ and ‘next day’ in the same sentence is compelling to any regular Asos shopper.

asos delivery


Target’s homepage reflects the new demand for contactless delivery options, with its popular curb-side pick-up option promoted alongside its same-day service. While the latter option is expensive, the retailer cleverly entices consumers in by highlighting the free trial, and similarly reassures customers that pick-up is always free.

target delivery
Image: Target


Casper uses a pop-up box on the homepage to inform customers of its free delivery policy, ‘no matter how big or small’, and continues its reassuring tone with the confirmation that it is also contact-free.

casper delivery
Image: Casper


This email from Tiffany uses the combination of free delivery and Mother’s Day to encourage shoppers to make a purchase. The name check and use of ‘complimentary’ in the subject line – which makes the offer sound a little more exclusive than simply ‘free’ – is effective for catching the attention.

Tiffany email
Image: Tiffany


AO’s OVP (displayed in a USP bar) promotes both free returns and its next day delivery service, the latter of which typically costs shoppers around £10 on top of the purchase price. AO always offers shoppers a free delivery option, too, but convenience and speed is prioritised here.

A USP bar is still an effective way to convey delivery information, especially when it is free, helping to catch the customer’s attention, and encouraging them to shop with the brand.
Image: AO


There’s a lot to take in on Wayfair’s homepage, but the retailer tries to ensure that free delivery stands out with two mentions of it.

The caveat of ‘most of the UK’ (with no indication as to where it doesn’t deliver) is not quite as reassuring, but with shipping often a big add-on cost for buying furniture online, it’s likely to still catch the eye of customers.

Image: Wayfair

Sweaty Betty

Most retailers promote one or two delivery options, but Sweaty Betty chooses to highlight three different delivery and collection choices on its homepage, instilling flexibility into the customer’s journey. This also highlights the growing importance of delivery, and the wider growth of ecommerce due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

sweaty betty


Superdry promotes its various delivery options on its product pages, ensuring that shoppers don’t have to search for this information or wait until the checkout to find out.

This handy sidebar highlights five different options, two of which are free.

superdry delivery
Image: Superdry


Oasis uses the element of surprise to reward email subscribers, promising free unlimited delivery with any purchase for one-day only. Combined with its 25% off everything promotion, it’s an enticing email offer.

Image: Oasis


Vans uses urgency and reassurance in this email to prompt shoppers to buy. Along with the reminder that there’s very little time left to buy for Christmas, Vans cleverly provides the clear solution of free express delivery.

Image: Vans


Not only does Walmart heavily promote its Walmart+ membership with a prominent homepage banner highlighting free shipping, but the retailer also offers a free trial to entice customers to sign up. The aim is to promote long-term loyalty, by giving customers a taste of unlimited free shipping (and the convenience it brings).

walmart delivery
Image: Walmart


Zappos is another retailer that no longer promotes basic delivery on the homepage, choosing instead to highlight its expedited service as part of its VIP loyalty scheme. This doesn’t mean that consumers can’t get free shipping – it is standard on all orders, with no minimums or exclusions. By using expedited, however, Zappos is able to evoke intrigue and differentiate itself from other brands.

zappos delivery
Image: Zappos


Though Zappos is already well-known for its free delivery (and first-rate customer service), it could perhaps do with promoting standard free delivery, particularly as there’s no mention of it anywhere else on the page.

Pets at Home

Pets at Home is one of the few retailers that includes how many days it takes free shipping to arrive on its homepage. With the assumption that the option might take much longer – particularly in light of Covid – this is a nice touch.

Image: Pets at Home

J. Crew

J. Crew continues its promotion of free shipping even at the checkout. The first instance – which asks users to ‘sign in to get free shipping’ – encourages general account sign ups, while the second (circled), promotes its J. Crew members program. Both enable the retailer to capture valuable consumer data.

Image: J. Crew

For more on ecommerce, you can explore the following Econsultancy resources: