No one could tell you for certain the exact year when marketing, as a profession, first became a thing in the workforce. But one thing for certain about the inception of marketing, as a profession, is that since whenever the beginning was, marketing professionals have left no stone unturned when it comes to finding the right words to utilize in order to influence consumers to take desired actions.
Especially when those desired actions involve consumers purchasing products.
With so many overturned stones by so many eager marketing professionals, you’d probably assume that there weren’t any words left to discover to increase sales at your business that your competitors' marketing teams aren't already utilizing.
Fortunately for your business, there are two words that have a tremendous influence on consumers’ purchasing habits when combined.
The two magic words
Picture this scenario, after many months of absence due to your hectic schedule, you’ve finally decided to put your gym membership to use and get back to working out on a consistent basis.
Realizing that your current gym wardrobe could definitely use an update before your triumphant return to the fitness factory; you go online to shop for some fresh new gear to rock on day-1 of your arrival to make you feel your best (the better you feel about yourself, the more you’d be inspired to go harder on your reps, right?).
After checking out a few websites, you finally find one that has gym attire that aligns with your splendid sense of fashion.
With your mind almost completely all-in on putting the clothes in the site’s shopping cart and checking out, the left side of your brain interrupts your purchasing intent with rationality and reason; telling you that although a little outdated, your current gym clothes aren’t that bad. And that the money spent on new gym wear could be spent on more pressing needs.
But suddenly, as the left side of your brain begins to win the battle; convincing you not to spend your hard-earned money on non-necessity items, you notice two words on the website that totally turn the tide of the battle and overwhelmingly convinces you to put the items in the cart and whip out your credit card to purchase them—free shipping!
Why the words work so well
According to a survey conducted by Forbes, 84% of consumers reported that they specifically made a purchase because shipping was offered free. While 30% also said they always increase the size of their orders if it allows them to receive free shipping.
Let’s take a moment to think about that for a second. 21 out of 25 consumers felt compelled enough to order an item because those items would be shipped to them for free. What's more, in 2021, Amazon announced that its Amazon Prime service had surpassed the 200 million subscriber mark. The main reason for that? The service offers free shipping to its subscribers.
Now, you don’t need to be a marketing professional to understand that when the words free shipping are used together, from a sales perspective, the results are unbelievably impressive. But just what is it about free shipping that puts consumers in such a frenzy?
The answer to that question is this; consumers love feeling as though they are on the receiving end of a great deal. And free shipping affords them that feeling of getting more value from their purchase. Which is why it so often serves as the determining factor that influences them to go ahead and throw caution to the wind by purchasing a product.
Using those magic words in your marketing
Although from a marketing perspective, the data shows that adding the words “Free Shipping” to your offerings seem to work like magic. Unfornately, it’s not quite that simple. In order for the words, free shipping, to sway consumers to purchase a product, they must first already have had somewhat of a need or an interest in the product to begin with.
Eliminating the cost of shipping is sort of like adding tasty toppings to a cake that someone already had a craving for.
For that reason, your brand’s product marketing should always remain focused around making your product itself, desirable in the minds of your target audience. And only use free shipping in your marketing strategy more so as a free appetizer—rather than as the entrée.