I’m not so sure you can equate these two strategies of customer enticement. It seems to me that discounting is a great means of getting someone to your ecommerce site, but free shipping may be the way to increase conversion rates. I’m also curious how loyal bargain shoppers are. If you steeply discount, do folks some day return and purchase without the discount? If you offer free shipping, isn’t that a feature of your site that everyone will come to expect and use over and over?
One of the biggest challenges Internet retailers have faced since day one is resistance to shipping fees. To make shopping on the web more like shopping in person, some merchants began offering free shipping with online orders. Does free shipping really motivate website visitors to buy more? From the Monetate Infographic.