“Free gift with purchase” promotions offer shoppers an extra incentive to buy, and can provide the retailer offering it with increased sales, as well as improved brand loyalty.
In particular, eTailers who go the extra mile with “free gift with purchase” offerings can multiply their customer draw: Nearly 90% of free gift receivers said they were “somewhat likely” to buy more frequently from an online retailer after receiving a gift, according to new survey findings from Harris Interactive.
“Though offering a free gift with purchase does not significantly alter the way consumers are ordering online today, retailers who do offer this extra incentive have a clear competitive advantage over those that don’t,” said Doug Guyer, Co-Founder and President of IDR Marketing Partners, a product sampling company which commissioned the study. After receiving a free gift, “the next time a shopper encounters several retailers selling the same item,” Guyer told Retail TouchPoints, “he or she is somewhat likely to buy from the retailer who provided the free value-add.”
Additional survey findings include:
- 65% of free gift receivers said they were at least somewhat likely to share their experiences with others online;
- Online retailers saw value in including a free gift with customer orders, though less than half provide one; and
- Of the four out of five Americans who are at least somewhat likely to share their experiences with others offline about a shopping site after receiving a free gift with purchase, women significantly are more likely to share their positive experiences than men.
“Consumers are more loyal to online retailers who make an authentic effort to connect with their customers through a value-add,” Guyer said. “The experience creates the ultimate win-win scenario for the online retailer and customers.”
By including a free gift, retailers can “help build customer retention and rebuy rates,” Carly Dahlen, a Bluefly.com representative, told Retail TouchPoints. This is because consumers are “likely to want to order from that eTailer,” she said, “versus a competitor not offering a gift.” Bluefly.com, a designer apparel eTailer, works closely with IDR to provide both gifting and sampling programs. “Gifts with purchases also improve conversions,” Dahlen said, “because they increase the perceived value of that purchase.”