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Will providing free offers (articles, guides, links) on an eCommerce site help sales?

Free offers seem like a good idea on websites that provide services as the free stuff can help drive the customer in, but what about eshops that sell physical goods.

I don't want my customers to forget they wanted to make a purchase due to them getting "lost" in the free area.

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I would suggest that having a "Free area" or a separate section of the site where everything on offer is free might attract users to that part of the site but probably won't generate a lot of traffic to areas where items must be paid for.

An alternative solution might be to mix free items with paid items in whatever other cataloguing system you have but allow users to filter for free items within standard listing or search results. That way you'll be putting paid items in front of them but allowing them (with the application of a little extra work) to find the free items too.

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