Free delivery and returns are a major selling point for online retailers as it negates the problems that are inherent with buying something before you’ve tried it on.
As such if e-tailers offer this service they should make sure it’s prominently displayed on their site so that customers don’t have to double-check, which may cause them to hesitate and rethink their purchase.
But occasionally sites are coy about the fact that they offer free delivery, missing out on a valuable conversion tool.
A study published last year showed that delivery and returns achieve the lowest satisfaction scores when compared to other aspects of the ecommerce experience.
Similarly, when asked what aspect of online shopping retailers wanted to improve, 58% chose free or discounted shipping.
This was followed by ease of returns/exchanges (42%), and variety of brands/products and online tracking ability (both 38%).
So with this in mind, I thought it would be useful to see how different ecommerce sites advertise their free delivery options on the homepage...
The offer of free delivery has always been one of ASOS’s key selling points, and it’s referred to on almost every page including twice on the homepage.
It’s not quite as in-your-face as ASOS, but Hugo Boss also mentions its free delivery and returns twice on the homepage.
The Beeb has a prominent banner for its free delivery service, however you’ll have to fork out for returns.
Waitrose offers free delivery on every order, though it has a minimum spend of £50. Even so, other online grocery retailers charge as much as £6 for delivery so Waitrose should probably make its offer more prominent on the homepage.
Even if you navigate to the delivery information in the FAQs the cost is way down the list, while the top query is whether your kids can receive the delivery.
Schuh’s free delivery and returns information is one of the most prominent features of the homepage.
Reiss flags up its free delivery offer twice on the homepage, but both references are quite subtle in comparison to other features on the page.
The free delivery service is quite easy to miss on Waterstones’ cluttered homepage.
Clarks mentions its free delivery and returns no fewer than three times on the homepage, though one of the references is on its carousel.
Evans Cycles offers free standard UK delivery but the only mention of it on the homepage is some way below the fold. Even on the product pages you have to actively navigate to the delivery options to find out about the service.
Instead it chooses to tout its click and collect service and 0% finance offer, which may actually be more powerful sales drivers in this sector.
As with Waterstones, T-Mobile’s busy homepage means its free delivery offer gets a bit lost, as does my pink highlighter.
Slightly sneaky messaging from Bank Fashion as it claims to be free delivery and returns at the top of the page, but the banner reveals the truth – it’s free if you spend more than £60, otherwise it’s £1.99.
Beauty Bay will deliver your order free anywhere in the world, but it only whispers it on the homepage...
Smiths could probably do with redesigning its dated homepage, including giving its free delivery offer better real estate.
Delivery is free!* (*If you spend more than £50.)
Toms offers free delivery, but it’s tucked away at the very top of the page. Strangely Toms also appears to give an international phone number on its UK ecommerce store.