The Year of Free Shipping

Posted by Cristina Lucero, Research Associate

According to comScore, over the last two weeks, more than 63% of all online purchases were accompanied by free shipping—that’s up roughly 10 percentage points over the same period last year.  In previous years, 47% of shoppers said they would abandon an online purchase if they discovered at checkout that shipping wasn’t free (comScore).  Because free shipping has become a priority for many online shoppers, “Free Shipping Day” was created to encourage online shopping without accruing additional shipping costs.  This year, Free Shipping Day was Friday, Dec. 16 and more than 2,000 merchants offered free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve in the contiguous United States.  According to comScore, Free Shipping Day saw shoppers spend $1.072 billion online, a 14% YoY increase.

This year’s free shipping trends include:

  • In October, 92.5% of retailers said they planned to offer free shipping at some point this season vs. less than 85% last year (
  • Nearly 80% of the respondents in a comScore survey said free shipping is an important component to online shopping, with 36% saying they wouldn’t buy online without it
  • According to’s eHoliday Survey, shoppers will have the added advantage of shopping online as late as December 23 as 5.3% of retailers say they will offer upgraded expedited shipping promotions through that date
  • Each week of the online holiday season-to-date has seen free shipping occur on at least half of all transactions.  For the five-day week ending with Free Shipping Day, the percentage of transactions with free shipping reached 56%, nearly 4 percentage points higher than the corresponding time period last year.  (comScore).

Free shipping

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