Thursday, November 11, 2010

Free Shipping Offers Proliferate

Black Friday is still two weeks away, and the free shipping offers are bombarding consumers left and right. In fact, a Google search on "free shipping" turned up 4 million hits. Here are a few notable offers:

  • Walmart just announced free shipping on thousands of gift items, with no minimum purchase.(Walmart hasn't done this before, and it's a major wake-up call for online retailers--how will it affect margins?)
  • Amazon is offering free two-day shipping with a trial of its Amazon Prime premium service OR free shipping on its usual minimum of $25 or more. (I'd be interested to know how many buyers who try Prime stick with it when they have to pay for it.)
  • Blue Nile ships its fine jewelry free via FedEx throughout the US and in 42 countries. (Makes sense with big-ticket items like diamond rings.)
  • LL Bean's free shipping offer, with no minimum, expires just before Christmas (see above).
  • Toys 'R' Us offers free shipping on selected items, with a $49 minimum purchase. (Given Amazon's free shipping offer, I'm not sure how attractive this is.)
  • Macy's offers free shipping with $99 minimum (will that change as competitors increase promotional intensity during December?).
As NewEgg says, "Black November: Shop on!"

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