Free shipping has been applied to increase online sales though special niche e-retailers should be cautious. The fact is, special items that can’t be located in typical retail outlets simply don’t need the perk and depending on business size, simply unaffordable.
Testing may be in order if a particular product has typical business concerns such as slow moving items with too much inventory. It’s a matter for ownership or management to decide when to initiate, but free shipping may be all that’s required for promotion—particularly if a product can be mailed, say Media class by USPS.
While consumers may have a ‘search frenzy’ to find free shipping and/or the lowest price, many niche marketers are not selling what these consumers are looking for, generally speaking. So it goes then, that niche markets, seasonal in nature or not, need not play by any or all online rules. We all have our own minor ‘do’s and don’ts’ with pricing but free anything never helped any business.