How to Offer a Free Gift With Purchase on Shopify

One of the proven strategies to increase average order value, conversion rates, and customer loyalty are free gifts. For example, you can give away a free product when a customer spends $100 or when he/she buys a specific product.

The problem comes when you want to implement this offering into your Shopify store. There is, unfortunately, no native and simple built-in solution on the platform so you’ll have to improvise a bit. Basically, there are three solutions to how to do this.

1. Combination of Discount Code and User Action

The closest to a free gift is the automatic discount code of “Buy X get Y” type. That will basically make the gift product priced $0 without a need of entering any discount coupon manually. The biggest problem of this approach is that customer needs to add the gift to the cart prior to going to the checkout. It’s not added automatically!

1.1 Automatic Discount Setup

In order to set it to follow the steps below:

  1. Go to your store admin > Discounts > Create discount > Automatic discount
  2. Enter the discount name (i.e. “Free Gift over $100”). That is also the coupon name that will appear during the checkout so rather use something shorter and clearer
  3. Select type “Buy X get Y”
  4. Set your gifting rules in the “Customer buys” section
  5. To simulate the rule “Buy product X get a free gift” select “Minimum quantity of items”, set it to 1, and select one or more products which customer needs to buy in order to get the free gift which you will specify in the next step
  6. To simulate the rule “Spend $X (store-wide or in specific a collection) get a free gift” select “Minimum purchase amount”, set the amount, and select a specific collection where the customer needs to make the spend.  If you would like to offer it store-wide simply select the collection “All Products” (you may need to create it first in case it doesn’t exist)
  7. Select your free gift product in the “Customer gets” section and set the “At a discount value” to “Free”.
  8. In the last step, you can also limit the maximum uses of this discount per order in case you would like the customer to get only 1 gift, for example
  9. Create the automatic discount by clicking on the “Save discount” button

Both cases are also visible on the screenshot below.

Free gift with purchase using the automatic discount
Free gift with purchase using the automatic discount

Please keep in mind you can have only one automatic discount active at a time. So it’s unfortunately not possible to create gift tiers like spend $100 get X, spend $200 get Y. That’s possible only using the solutions explained further.

1.2 Ask Customer to Add the Free Gift to the Cart

The biggest hurdle of this approach is the fact that it requires a customer action. The discount won’t add the free product to the customer’s cart automatically. The customer needs to do it manually prior to entering the checkout process.

The best way to make sure the customer adds the product to the cart which is priced at full price at that moment is using some visible messaging on your store. For example, pop-ups, banners, notifications, etc. saying something like “Spend $100 and get a free Adidas Backpack (add it to cart prior checkout)”.

This can be done either manually if your theme has any real estate for that or you can use some third-party app like the Quick Announcement Bar which is free and looks great. It can look for example like this.

Free gift offer announcement
Free gift offer announcement

1.3 How it Will Look in the Cart and Checkout

Once the customer meets the minimum requirements and adds the free gift to the cart, he/she is ready to finish the purchase. Some themes (like Debut in our case) are even able to apply the automatic discount on the cart page (i.e. so the customer sees immediately the product is for free.

Free gift in the cart
Free gift in the cart

After the customer continues to checkout this is how it will look. As you can see, the discount code field is still available so customers can add either a gift card or additional discount coupon code.

Free gift in the checkout
Free gift in the checkout

Overall the biggest advantage of this solution is that it doesn’t require any custom functionality or third-party app installed. It uses only the Shopify native features and every merchant can set it up without any coding knowledge.

Obviously, the biggest drawback is the flow when a customer needs to add the gift product to the cart before continuing to the checkout. There is nothing worse than upsetting customers who are expecting a free gift but won’t get any.

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