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Yup, free shipping

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday December 14, 2006 )

As has been predicted by a number of research firms over recent months; free shipping remains one of the biggest incentives that you can throw in front of potential customers this holiday season in order to increase sales.

The recent Consumer Internet Barometer survey of 10,000 USA households found that a whopping 90 percent of consumers stated free shipping would serve as an incentive to spend more online this holiday season

Over 65% stated special deals not in offline stores would also boost their online spending.

Another important factor in purchase decisions is the ability to return an item to a store if need be – around half of those surveyed.

5% of online households say they’ll spend over $500 in online purchases during the holiday shopping season, and 30% will spend under $100 online.

The gender gap in online bargain hunting is also closing. In past years, men had a substantial lead but this year, 40% of women claim to be bargain hunters and 43% of men claim the same. By bargain hunting I assume it to mean serious comparison shopping rather than visiting one or two sites and then making a purchase.

The major frustrations of online shopping cited by those surveyed were shipping costs, being unable to physically handle merchandise, and needing to provide credit card information. It’s interesting to note that items such as site load times and navigation weren’t major beefs.

While free shipping, bells and whistles are important, again we see that trust is a major factor also in purchase decisions.

Learn more about reassuring your site visitors.

Read more of the Consumer Internet Barometer report.


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