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Free shipping still a favorite

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday September 15, 2011 )

Three quarters of consumers recently surveyed said free shipping would encourage them to purchase more products online.

In an unnerving development for those merchants that don’t offer free shipping, it seems shoppers are not only wanting it, but beginning to expect it.

Many merchants are obviously understanding this mindset though, with just over 45% of respondents reporting they had received free shipping during their most recent purchase. Over 60% said they avoid buying a product if shipping is an extra charge.

Shipping is one of those ugly extra charges that tend to end in shopping cart abandonment. I think in many cases it’s better to say a product is “$50 – Free shipping!”, than to state it is $40 and then whack on a $10 shipping fee during the checkout process. It’s something to think about if you can’t actually absorb the cost of free shipping, but still want to incorporate the concept.

Anyhow, the interesting findings come from Kantar Media Compete’s quarterly Online Shopper Intelligence Study survey that also found faster shipping and an in-store pickup option were strong motivators for online shoppers to part with their bucks as well.

Coupons continue to be a powerful tool – the study states 20% of respondents utilized a coupon code during their latest online purchase and nearly 60 percent of those folks wouldn’t have made their purchase without one. Over a third said they were using coupons “most of the time”.

Social media is still proving to be a strong motivator in purchases, with 35 percent of respondents saying Twitter feeds have been influential or extremely influential, while 23.5 percent say the same about Facebook.

Kantar Media Compete’s Summer 2011 Online Shopper Intelligenceā„¢ report was based on a survey of 2,574 online purchasers between July 14 and August 8, 2011. You can read more of the findings here.


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