As a known proverb says, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” At first thought, it may seem that free products are useless for an online store. It is true that they can’t generate profit but they can have a positive indirect impact on sales. How exactly they can do that is what we are going to review in this article.
1. Free of charge products is good news worth communicating with potential customers
In a highly competitive environment, it is very difficult to keep the interest of customers to the online store. The amount of information is so huge that even the brightest news may be lost. Psychologists have proved that people love discounts, best deals and getting something for free. So, free of charge products are a good reason to send an email or SMS with this news or create a post in the social networks. Properly organized campaign can give a good result. Such campaign works better during the quit sales period because it can attract more attention. Such products need to have some value for your potential customers otherwise the news won’t make them interested. And there should not be hidden information or any tricks, as this may become a great disappointment for customers. For example, if the software is offered for free but after it has been downloaded the customer finds out that free usage is for one month only, it is not a good idea. Such approaches are not efficient and may even be dangerous. They look like a fraud and people will not believe you in the next communication. If a physical product is offered for free but the delivery should be paid for, these costs must be clearly described.
2. Free of charge products is an opportunity to expand clients’ database of an online store
To get something for free, visitors usually are ready to register, which means they need to provide some information about themselves. So, it is possible to ask for the name, email, mobile phone, and city of residence. It is very important not to miss this opportunity and possibly implement a special registration process with more steps. The offered free product should be relevant to the target audience of the online store otherwise the expansion of the database will be of poor quality. For example, if you have the online store selling car parts, it is not necessary to offer a popular book or songs collection on CD as a free product. You can get an audience of music or book lovers, but not the audience of car owners.
3. Free of charge products can reduce the percent of bounce rate which is very good for Google SERP
Free products attract the attention of new people – they visit the website and spend some time interacting with the online store. They definitely don’t leave the store in the first few seconds. Such visitors have good behavioral characteristics which Google likes to analyze. This is a good way to improve the bounce rate. It is important to organize the interaction with the online store in the most comfortable way for visitors, but at the same time, they may visit a few pages. If it is possible, they should be able to download a document or make a review, etc. The behavioral characteristics are one of the factors of ranking in Google search results, and through such campaigns you can influence this parameter.
4. Free of charge products can help in collecting additional information
If you offer something for free, you have a right to ask for something. For example, people don’t always agree to participate in polls, but getting free products is a good incentive. Thus, it is possible to organize a market research and get valuable market information or some statistics about customer preferences. But do not make the questionnaire too long, otherwise even free gifts will not help.
5. Expectation of the campaign recurrence
If you hint that the campaigns with free products are held periodically in the communication, the clients will not just wait for them, but also visit the store not to miss them, subscribe to news and so on. So you can get good leads. If a free product is relevant to the range of the online store and attracts good audience, these customers will make a purchase.
When you offer something for free, it is also an investment that should bring some benefit. We tried to show that even if the customers don’t pay money, they can be useful visitors for the online store. So, despite the opinion: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”, sometimes it is possible to offer “free lunch” and get positive results.