Tutorial: Boosting Sales by Offering Free Shipping

Hey everybody, its me Tomas again!  Magento Enterprise Edition Version 1.7 was just released this week and with a some great new features aimed at enhancing the customer experience and increasing customer loyalty. One great way to establish repeat customers and boost sales is to offer free shipping. Hey, everyone loves free stuff!

A common inquiry that we often receive here at the Magento support desk is how to configure Magento to offer free shipping to customers.  Right out-of-the-box, Magento has multiple ways to accomplish this depending on the factors you choose to offer free shipping.  Let’s run through some of the scenarios together and get a better understanding of how to configure Magento in each instance.

Scenario 1: Carrier Free Shipping with minimum order amount (without using a Shopping Cart Price Rule)

In this scenario, we’ll be offering free UPS Ground shipping for orders above $99.  To do this we need to go to System -> Configuration -> Sales -> Shipping Methods ->UPS, and we need to set the free method to ‘Ground’ and provide the minimum amount value.

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The screenshot below shows the UPS Ground shipping method is now free during shopping cart checkout.

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Scenario 2: Carrier Free Shipping with minimum order amount using a Shopping Cart Price Rule

In this scenario, we will be offering free UPS Ground shipping method for orders above $99 but through a Shopping Cart Price Rule.  Here however, we will be using a Coupon Code, set up through Promotions -> Shopping Cart Price Rules so that the free shipping will automatically apply if the conditions are met.

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Since our Shopping Cart Rule is not limited to any product attributes, we can either choose “For matching items only” or “For shipment with matching items” in the Shopping Cart Price Rule Actions as Free Shipping option.

Lastly, in System -> Configuration -> Sales -> Shipping Methods ->UPS, we need to set the free method to ‘Ground’ and, unlike the first scenario, we will not be providing a minimum amount.

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Although setup differently, we get the same results as the first scenario.

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Scenario 3: Carrier Free Shipping for specific items

In this scenario, we will be offering free UPS Ground shipping for products within a specific category (i.e. Furniture category).

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Since our free shipment is limited to Furniture items only, we must set the same conditions under the Shopping Cart Price Rules Actions section.

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Now here, if we select “For matching items only”, if there are multiple items in the shopping cart, the free shipping will only apply for the product within the Furniture category and other shipment charges on non-furniture items will be calculated separately.

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On the other hand, if we choose “For shipment with matching items” free shipping will apply to the whole cart with multiple items in it as long as an applicable furniture product is included.

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These scenarios all provide just a few of the many techniques to offer free shipping to your customers.  We hope this will help you in setting up your own free shipping benefits to customers, help drive more sales and keep your customers happy and loyal.  For all this and other great customer experience enhancing features, make sure to check on the all new Magento Enterprise Edition Version 1.7 and sign up for next week’s webinar showing off all the innovative new features.

Happy e-Commerce!

Author Bio: This post is part of a series by the Magento Enterprise Edition subscription support team covering tips, tricks and hints to some of the most common, and uncommon, issues as submitted by support customers.

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