Emphasize Free Things - Spiralyze

Emphasize Free Things

Layout Medium Priority 55% Adoption 2 Seconds Saved

Increase perceived value by emphasizing anything that is free or discounted – make it bright, bold, and bigger.
Conversion Opportunity 0.4%

Every store you’ve been in – from Walmart to a small mom & pop shop – is full of signs. Signs for prices, signs for sales, signs for everything. And the biggest, brightest, most in-your-face signs are for stuff that’s FREE.

One of the simplest ways to increase the perceived value of a purchase – and gain a few conversions from tight-pursed customers – is to put anything FREE in big flashing lights. If shipping is FREE then make sure every users sees that it’s FREE! Now your customer thinks “Hey, I’m getting a good deal here!” Those customers that are otherwise anxious about spending money will feel a bit easier.

The same goes for any discounts or coupons. Once a user has entered a coupon code, make sure they know just how much money they save – the same way a Macy’s clerk will say “You’re saving $15.79 on your purchase today.”

Make it bigger, add some color.


If a company offers anything for free, it’s usually shipping. The simplest – and most effective – way to highlight this is to simply make the word FREE bigger, bolder, and maybe add some color to it. Other websites only go halfway and put it in all caps or just bold it without increasing the size or prominence in any other way.

It’s also important to emphasize this everywhere it appears. When the user selects their shipping options, emphasize FREE. When it shows up in the purchase summary, emphasize FREE. Sites can really hammer home the increase in value by crossing out the previous prices next to it, too.

The same concepts apply to discounted items, whether the discount is automatic or from an entered coupon code.

Urban Outfitters does nothing to emphasize/highlight free shipping.

Nike highlights FREE shipping in the selection stage, but not in the purchase summary.



Emphasize Free Things has an 55% adoption rate among our benchmark group.

Best Practices

Bigger, Bolder, Brighter

Just make the FREE or discounted price bigger and bolder. Add some color. Don’t go overboard and add blinking lights around it.

Coupons and Discounts

Include discounts and sales – whether the item is on sale by default or the user enters a coupon code.

Previous Prices

If a user enters a coupon code or selects free shipping, emphasize the savings by crossing out the previous price and emboldening the new discounted price.


Apply this to any place the price is shown. When user selects free shipping, highlight the FREE. Then show the same emphasize in the purchase summary and anywhere else the price appears.



Staples Example

Staples highlights and colorizes FREE in the purchase summary.


Nike Example

Nike emphasizes FREE shipping in the selection stage, but not the checkout summary.


Urban Outfitters Example

Urban Outfitters does nothing to highlight free shipping.