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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: Do Online Stores Really Need Free Shipping?



Re: Do Online Stores Really Need Free Shipping?
Posted by: Tiernan Ray 2003-04-07 12:15:45
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In the frenetic boom days of the 1990s, a matter as humble as shipping charges was nothing more than a shot over the bow in the e-commerce battles that raged. As the dot-com parade wandered off course, however, it seemed that such stunts were history. But in January 2002, Amazon.com brought free shipping back to the table -- and several of its competitors followed suit. Do e-tailers need to offer free shipping, or is it merely a drag on the bottom line?


Re: Do Online Stores Really Need Free Shipping?
Posted by: mmcolquitt 2003-04-16 15:08:42 In reply to: Tiernan Ray
I know that in my experience I have increased purchases and redirected shopping to sites with free shipping offers. It makes a difference in price as opposed to going to the store where there is no charge for shipping.

Re: Do Online Stores Really Need Free Shipping?
Posted by: bit-o-data 2003-04-11 16:22:58 In reply to: Tiernan Ray
When you purchase things online, it is the shipping cost that can make or break an order. I have definitely been affected by free shipping deals on the internet. I buy memory from a cruicial on the internet for the free shipping. At Christmas time I also purchased a cable modem from Amazon.com because they offered free shipping. Free shipping can easily save a person from $5.00 to $50.00 depending on the amount purchased.
This is one reason I do not buy computer monitors from online stores. They are so heavy that the shipping costs outweigh the savings. I can go to Best Buy and get a pretty good deal.

Re: Do Online Stores Really Need Free Shipping?
Posted by: pimediaunited 2003-04-14 01:43:36 In reply to: bit-o-data
I think free shipping is key. in fact it's one of the most popular purchase decision influencers. even if shipping cost is already factored in, just saying free shipping makes a huge difference.

Re: Do Online Stores Really Need Free Shipping?
Posted by: astephens 2003-04-09 15:18:32 In reply to: Tiernan Ray
Of course, free shipping helps retailers. I know that Amazon's free shipping on orders greater than $25 has made me buy more goods from Amazon and actually increased my order size. Free shipping is needed and brings up gains for retailers in the end.

Re: Do Online Stores Really Need Free Shipping?
Posted by: jeff_6 2003-04-08 13:38:13 In reply to: Tiernan Ray
The offer of free shipping is anything but free to the retailer. The only online store that should offer free shipping is the one that does not wish for long-term financial success.

Re: Do Online Stores Really Need Free Shipping?
Posted by: calin 2003-04-07 14:10:33 In reply to: Tiernan Ray
I think that free shipping is essential for the online commerce, if it attempts to take business away from the traditional stores. Case in point: Before the free shipping at Amazon, it only made sense to buy special order books from them, those which were hard to get at the local Borders and Barnes&Noble. Although Amazon had lower prices, by the time shipping charges were added, the books were within $1-$2 of the store price.
Consequently, it made no sense to delay gratification for a few days waiting for the Amazon book to come just to save $1-$2. Even books that were not in store could be obtained at my local Borders in 2-3 days, so if I wanted the book, there was less and less reazon to buy at Amazon. I think that free shipping would push Amazon past the niche market. Same with other retailers. Calin
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Which type of online advertising is most likely to attract your favorable attention?
Straightforward display ads
Ads based on my interests
Informational articles on products/services
Video ads
Ads designed to grab my attention, e.g. pop-ups, autoplay
None -- I avoid all online ads