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Etsy eases free shipping for sellers

Etsy shoppers can soon expect to start receiving more free deliveries.

The handmade and vintage goods e-commerce retailer is providing sellers with tools and support to help them guarantee free shipping to U.S. buyers who spend at least $35 in their shop. Sellers around the world are able to participate in this initiative.

In addition, beginning on July 30, 2019, Etsy will give priority placement in U.S. search results to items that ship free and to shops that guarantee U.S. buyers free shipping on orders of $35 or more. This means that shoppers in the U.S. will primarily see items that ship free and shops that offer free shipping on orders of $35 or more in the top and most visible rows of search.

Etsy will begin actively marketing this free shipping initiative to buyers starting in September, with the goal of driving more traffic to the Etsy marketplace and sellers' shops.

According to Etsy buyer data, buyers are significantly more likely to purchase an item in their cart with free shipping compared to an item that has added shipping costs. Etsy also ran a limited-time free shipping promotion in May 2019that led to higher order values when participating buyers purchased items that shipped for free or were eligible for free shipping.

"Shoppers come to Etsy to discover over 60 million special and unique items that often cannot be found anywhere else,” said Josh Silverman, Etsy's CEO. “Yet we hear that high shipping prices often deter shoppers from completing their purchases. By making free shipping the norm on Etsy, rather than the exception, we'll connect more people with items that they love. Ultimately, we believe this will help increase marketplace conversion and order value, encourage repeat visits, and drive more sales for Etsy sellers."

Given the timing of the launch, Etsy expects this initiative to have a modest upside to Etsy's previously announced 2019 gross merchandise sales guidance. The projected impact of this initiative will be shared when Etsy reports its second quarter 2019 financial results.
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