Online consumers are looking for free shipping more than any other perk or enticement, according to a new survey conducted by Stamps.com. The research, looking at Web based sales practices, polled retailers operating online storefronts who were also Stamps.com customers. Some 64 percent of those ecommerce store operators say free shipping is their single most important sales promotion tool. The second biggest enticement was discounted shipping, at 26 percent, emphasizing the importance of free or reduced shipping to online shoppers.
For the 2010 holiday season, 53 percent of survey respondents reported that they were offering free shipping on more products, compared with the 2009 season. Two-thirds of eretailers required a minimum purchase of more than $50 for free shipping, and another 15 percent required an order over $25.
Over half of the ecommerce retailers polled said that free shipping resulted in larger online orders. "In today's economic climate, customers are extremely value conscious," says Stamps.com president and CEO Ken McBride. "More and more ecommerce retailers are discovering that free shipping is good for their margins, so long as they have an efficient and affordable way to process and ship their orders."
Patti Freeman Evans, a vice president and ecommerce specialist at Forrester Research, recently told NPR that 2010 was the year of free shipping. "Consumers have always loved free shipping," she says. "Even when presented with an offer that's a discount, that is actually more monetary value than a free shipping offer, they'll take the free shipping offer."
For more information on the Stamps.com survey, visit http://blog.stamps.com/2010/11/10/ecommerce-holiday-shipping-survey.
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