Planet13 - 8:08 pm on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
Test that is the answer!
Or is that removing too much of the psychological effect that you're offering them something positive.
I think that if you offer ANYTHING for free, you have to also STATE THE MONETARY VALUE of it right next to the offer. Otherwise, research has shown that it cheapens the value of the gift in the eyes of the customer.
So let's say that flat rate shipping is $5. You should say something like:
"Get Free Shipping - A $5 Value!"
"Purchase $50 worth of merchandise, and get a $19.95 widget for FREE!"
Have you noticed how all the infomercials on TV will basically sell two of the same item for one price (let's say $20). But they don't phrase it that way.
They COULD state something like this:
"Buy two widgets for only $20"
But instead, what most of them do is this:
"Buy this widget for the price of only $20, and for a limited time, we will throw in a second widget for FREE!"
this associates a value ($20) with the widget that they will be receiving for free.
The word "Free" is one of those Pavlovian things. One study I heard about really opened my eyes:
Researchers were selling two kinds of chocolate bars at way reduced prices. One was a domestic candy bar (normally sells for about 80 cents), and they were selling it for a penny.
The second was a Swiss chocolate bar that normally sells for about $2, and they were selling it for 15 cents.
When customers were presented with the offer of either paying one cent for a run-of-the-mill chocolate bar, or 15 cents for a deluxe bar, they preferred the deluxe bar.
Now, when researchers dropped the price one cent (the deluxe bar was only 14 cents, and the domestic chocolate bar was now free), the results were reversed. Customers overwhelmingly picked the free domestic bar.
There is also the story of how amazon France used to charge only one franc for shipping (about 20 US Cents). That was their tag line: One Franc Shipping!
Then when they started offering FREE shipping, sales increased dramatically.