If You Don’t Have the Lowest Prices for the Holidays, You Better Offer Free Shipping
Today, Forrester Research is unveiling its annual U.S. holiday forecast for online retail. Not surprisingly, online sales are expected to grow this holiday season — a solid 15 percent (just like the last two years), to $78.7 billion.
But even with that positive outlook, it seems like this year, more than ever, online retailers need to offer some type of free-shipping option to compete.
Forrester cites the rise in popularity of free-shipping services such as Amazon Prime as setting shopper expectations that should ultimately pressure more retailers into free-shipping options.
“Many consumers will actually leave a site if it doesn’t offer free shipping,” the report reads. “It’s the second most common reason (behind price) why U.S. online buyers abandon purchases and go to another retailer. Moreover, shoppers may never make it to your site if you don’t offer it; Google Shopping now allows its users to sort search results by retailers that offer free shipping.”
On the positive side for e-commerce sellers, free-shipping minimum-purchase thresholds can often lure us shoppers into buying more than we had intended to.