Free Shipping Still Key Marketing Mechanism
Free shipping is still a key reason customers choose the online channel for their shopping needs.
This was a key finding from the fourth annual Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index report from ForeSee Results and FGI Research. ForeSee analyzed 9,000 visitors to 40 chosen active Web retailers during the holiday season. The firm also used the predictive methodology of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Key findings from the report include the following:
1. Free shipping is more common. Sixty-eight percent of online holiday shoppers said they received free shipping offers, 20 percent said they didn't get any and 12 percent couldn't remember if free shipping was offered.
2. Free shipping can be an effective acquisition tool. Particularly if it doesn't involve restrictions, according to the report.
3. Shipping costs are a huge factor in whether people choose to buy online or offline. Eighteen percent of respondents said they chose to buy something from a retailer's store instead of a Web site primarily to avoid shipping costs. Among those who said they shop online, 33 percent said the availability of free shipping encouraged them to do so.
4. Free shipping is a key reason shoppers choose one online retailer over another. Such an offer heavily influenced 80 percent of online purchasers in their decisions to purchase with the e-tailers they chose instead of competitors.