Increasingly, online shoppers won’t complete their orders unless free shipping
is part of the deal. Nearly two-thirds of online purchases last week were
shipped for free.
In November of last year, a New York Times story noted that 41% of online
purchases came with free shipping—an impressive figure at the time, considering
that free shipping was once a novelty, a rare unexpected bonus.
Since then, retailers such as L.L. Bean and Nordstrom have begun offering
free shipping on all orders, no promotionalcode or minimum purchase required,
while stores such as Best Buy and Walmart are shipping most or all items for
free during the holiday season.
promotional adj. 推销的，推销广告或宣传的
Even before Halloween was here in 2011, it was clear that free shipping
would be a huge trend for the winter shopping season. In a National Retail
Federation survey published over a month ago, more than 9 out of 10 retailers
said they’d offer free shipping at some point during the holiday season.
E-merchants are well aware that free shipping is in their best interests—because
without it, consumers are less likely to buy, and with it, consumers are not
only more likely to buy, but to buy in bigger ways. According to NRF data:
More shoppers this year are also interested in shopping online as a direct
result of free shipping offers – 36.3 percent will spend more online this year
if shipping comes free.
Now, after an epic$52 billion shopping spreeover Black Friday weekend, some
of the effects of free shipping can be seen.
epic n. 1. [C,U] 史诗，叙事诗 2. [C] 壮举，惊人之举 adj. 1. 史诗的，叙事诗的 2. 漫长而艰难的
spree n. 狂欢；无节制的狂热行为；欢闹 vi. 狂欢；狂饮
Market research firm ComScore has announced that during Cyber Week (week
ending December 2), online purchases totaled $6 billion; a highest-ever $1.25
billion was spent online on Cyber Monday alone. This is particularly remarkable
because the online spend-a-thon took place right on the heels of a dramatic rise
in spending in physical stores over Black Friday weekend.
What role did free shipping play in enticingshoppers to spend (and spend
and spend) last week? Well, over the last two weeks, over 63% of all online
purchases were accompaniedby free shipping—that’s up roughly 10 percentage
points over the same period one year ago. In the ComScore survey, 78% of
consumers said that free shipping was either “very important” or “somewhat
important” when it comes to decision time to make an online purchase.
entice v. 怂恿；诱使
accompany vt. 陪伴，伴随；伴奏 vi. 伴奏，伴唱
Increasingly, if shipping costs extra, the online purchase just doesn’t
happen. In a previous ComScore survey, nearly half of consumers (47%) said
they’d abandon an online purchase if they discovered at checkout that shipping
wasn’t included for free.
You can’t have a discussion about the free-shipping trend during the
holiday season without mentioning Free Shipping Day, which has quickly become a
tradition: This year, over 1,400 retailers will offer free shipping for orders
placed on December 16.
Ironically, the trend toward more and more free shipping sortamakes Free
Shipping Day unnecessary and obsolete: If shipping is available for free almost
every day anyway, there’s really no need for a special day for getting free
Last year, FreeShipping Day founder Luke Knowles said in a Q&A that
about 60% of participating retailers were offering free shipping with no minimum
purchase requirements whatsoever. This year, consumers can expect not only that
the number of participating retailers will rise, but that the percentage of
retailers with no-minimum-purchaserequirements will as well.