Free Shipping Drives Three Record-Breaking Online Shopping Days

This holiday season is easily breaking records for online shopping.

So far, three days have eclipsed the $1 billion mark, representing three of the four heaviest days in U.S. history.

In all, shopping has already reached $18.7 billion for the month of November and first two days of December, representing a 15 percent increase over 2010, according to comScore.

The measurement firm had at least one explanation for the surge. It’s not because people were less naughty. Rather, it’s because of all the discounts being offered, with the prevailing method being free shipping.

Typically, the use of free shipping peaks around the Monday after Thanksgiving, comScore said, but this year, the incentive was used at record levels over an extended period of time.

Throughout the 2011 holiday season, more than half of all transactions have included free shipping, the research firm reports. In particular, during the week of Thanksgiving, the promotion was used the heaviest with nearly 65 percent of all shoppers not having to pay freight.

During the following week, which includes Cyber Monday, the percentage of free shipping stayed high at 63 percent.

Free shipping was not used as heavily during the online shopping season last year, peaking at only 55 percent the week of Thanksgiving.

The five most visited sites the day after Thanksgiving were Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and Apple.

While retailers such as Amazon are known for offering free shipping if you meet a certain spending threshold, clearly others are jumping on the bandwagon. For instance, Apple is offering free shipping on all purchases from its Web site until Dec. 22.

Photo Credit: thisisbossi.


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