As the competition between online retailers stiffens, businesses are quickly learning that offering free shipping will no longer set them above the rest.
The Wall Street Journal examined this issue in their recent article “Free Shipping Alone Isn’t Enough: Online Retailers Go for Speed.” In the article, the writer attributes this shift to Amazon and the company’s Amazon Prime service. Now in select cities, the company is offering same day shipping as well.
“‘Amazon kind of set the path for everyone with Prime. People just expect things faster,’ says Heather Kaminetsky, vice president of global marketing at Net-a-Porter, the luxury online retailer,” the article states.
Now, other retailers are playing catch-up.
The writer reports that Cole Haan’s faster deliver has lowered its return rate. Next month, Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy will shorten their standard shipping to five to seven business days from seven to nine business days. Online company Everlane is even trying a one-hour shipping option in select cities.
“Some brands provide faster-than-expected delivery in hopes of giving shoppers a pleasant surprise. At Lululemon Athletica, standard free shipping is quoted as two to seven business days, yet StellaService found 90% of its deliveries were within three days last year, up from 42% in 2013,” states the article.
And this trend is only expected to amplify — consumers will expect free shipping and faster deliver or chose another retailer.
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