Online Christmas season retail sales for the period November 1 to December 5 rose 12 percent to $17.5 billion, as per comScore. Retailers have lined in a number of heavy promotions and discounts to cash in on the biggest sales time of the year, but what seems as a rising trend is retailers hooking ‘free shipping’ incentives with the purchases. comScore suggests that the consumers were not too willing to purchase online without the ‘free shipping’ incentive.
According to National Retail Federation, around 85 percent of the online stores are planning to include free shipping during the peak Christmas time, as part of their ‘add ons’ for consumers, as compared to 79 percent last year. Walmart Inc, Amazon.com etc have all lined up this incentive on almost all their merchandise. Retailers have also reduced the minimum purchase price to qualify for free shipping from $50 minimum last year to between $25 to $40, while some are not keeping any minimum limit. Also, 36 percent of online merchants have noted budgets for the ‘free shipping’ rising this year.
With the hope a good season sale ahead, retailers are eager to offer this add on, as it keeps them abreast with competition and ensures they don’t loose sales this season.