Online holiday sales are looking up this season and with so many consumers looking to save money and spend less this year free shipping could be a key ally in the competition between online merchants and retailers who are trying to draw customers into their stores before the holidays are over.
Carriers like the Postal Service and UPS are offering deals for shipping merchandise over the Christmas season so online stores are going to have to not only compete with shipping companies but they are fighting low prices from retailers, as we saw in the Amazon.com/Wal-Mart book wars a few weeks ago. So, free shipping looks to be the most powerful weapon online retailers can use against the competition.
When a consumer is met with a hefty shipping fee at the online checkout it’s not uncommon for them to either remove items they were going to buy or cancel the order altogether.
Free shipping or even discount shipping can go a long way in not only keeping a consumer happy and buying more, it will also drive traffic to their site with the intention of buying a little extra since there’s no cost to ship.
The USPS has introduced flat rate boxes that are cost efficient to consumers because if they can fit their items in one of those flat rate boxes it will be shipped for the advertised price.
Online retailers can take advantage since most people hate packing up presents, making the trip to the Post Office and waiting in line; they would rather just buy online and have merchandise shipped to its destination. So, if online retailers can make more use of free shipping or discounted shipping they may just see bigger numbers as the Christmas season rolls on.
Holiday sales are huge throughout the United States and this is no more apparent than the number of people looking for WalMart Black Friday laptop sales in 2012. Each and every year this number grows and this year shoppers will start to look for these options as soon as we get to Halloween.