Published Jun. 14, 2011
Ecommerce is a thriving industry with fierce competition. One of the best ways to achieve success in this dynamic, competitive environment is to have a strong marketing mix with a most recent phenomenon- free shipping.
Ecommerce is a thriving industry with fierce competition. One of the best ways to achieve success in this dynamic, competitive environment is to have a strong marketing mix with a most recent phenomenon — free shipping. How has free shipping become a new marketing staple and what is the best way to implement it? To find the answers, let’s explore free shipping trends, benefits and variations.
Free Shipping: A Trend on the Rise
Free shipping is a growing trend in the ecommerce industry. Each year it becomes more and more prevalent, especially during the holiday season. Leading online retailer Amazon® is believed to owe much of its success to Amazon Prime™, a customer program that offers a low-cost year of free two-day shipping. In 2010, Walmart® expanded its marketing mix with the introduction of free shipping and the promotion was met with great response and success.
How many other ecommerce retailers have taken to the trend? A lot. There’s overwhelming evidence that free shipping promotions are continuing to flourish and are becoming a permanent marketing resource. In 2009, comScore® reported that 42 percent of all ecommerce transactions completed in the U.S. included free shipping, up from 31 percent in 2008. Additionally, a Practical Ecommerce® survey revealed that 52.2 percent of respondents offer free shipping on some orders. With the numbers on a rise, ecommerce retailers looking to compete in the ever changing marketplace should explore free shipping promotions, starting with the benefits.
Benefits of Free Shipping
Free shipping, like any marketing promotion, can enhance your relationship with your customers, help grow your business and give you a competitive edge. These benefits have been researched in recent years and have impacted today’s ecommerce. Customer satisfaction directly affects your bottom line profits. As such, finding ways to appeal to your customers is crucial. Free shipping is a great way to make a positive impact on consumers. Recent studies have shown that customers value free shipping and use it to determine their purchases. In a Stamps.com® survey, 64 percent of respondents indicated that a free shipping promotion was the most effective holiday promotion. Therefore, offering free shipping can help greatly improve your consumers’ shopping experience and, in turn, their buying behavior and loyalty to your brand.
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