Increasing Average Basket Size, Simply and Easily

In tough economic times, one of the easiest ways for an online retailer to improve their sales is to increase average basket size, yet many sites fail to fully exploit the opportunity of doing so. One of the simplest ways to do this is to provide Free Shipping (Delivery for us Brits) to the customer once a certain basket size is reached.

It’s simple because it doesn’t necessarily rely on getting people to your site, rather it relies on getting them to spend more once they’re already there. Like a waiter offering you a gin and tonic before your meal, or a coffee afterwards, it’s a fantastic way to increase sales at a low cost.

It’s easy because you’ll be sending them the products anyway, and all you need to do is calculate how great an uplift you need to justify absorbing the cost of delivery, then set the threshold accordingly.

As an example of who’s doing this well (in my humble opinion) let’s take a look at Semichem’s new site, which originally inspired the post. They offer free shipping on orders over £35.

Home Page Graphic

Landing on the Home Page, the Free Shipping offer is immediately made clear by the graphic on the right hand side of the page. Top marks for making it clear from the start.


If you happen to arrive at the site on a deeper page, the offer is stated in text at the top left of the page – not as clear as the home page graphic but it gets the message across.

Shopping Cart

This is the feature I particularly like: immediately beneath the shopping cart summary on the right-hand side, there’s a handy calculator telling you how much more you need to spend to hit the £35 threshold. This is updated as soon as you add a product to your cart and as it’s about the same size as the cart summary, you’re never in any doubt.

Room for Improvement

Whilst I stated at the beginning of the post that this method doesn’t rely on getting people to a site, I wonder if there’s room for improvement on Semichem’s part?

Their Google AdWords campaign doesn’t mention the availability of free shipping, so a new advert variant could be created that does mention the offer.

Nor is there a mention of the offer in the SERPs when you perform a search for Semichem. Perhaps a short message could be inserted into the meta-description to make searchers aware of it and encourage higher-click through to the site?


All in all, I think they’re doing a great job of encouraging their customers to spend more. Of course, the proof will be in the sales figures, to which we obviously don’t have access!

How We Can Help

We provide a wide range of expert consultancy services to clients that help with exactly this kind of improvement to a site. Call us on 0845 224 7428 or email us on to discuss how we can help you improve your ecommerce sales.