Free Shipping? No thanks

The title is obviusly a provocation, the reason why i wrote that post is to point out how the shipping cost changes from the point of view of the online retailers and the point of view of the users too.

Milano 5 February 2011 My colleagues and me wait for the lunch pause to collect the different orders to make an online order and save money paying just one delivery.

Trento 5 February 2016 Im walking in a shopping mall and i see a nice pullover that reminds me that i have to buy a led lamp for the closet, so with my smartphone i open Amazon App and i buy the lamp that was in my wishlist since the previous day and i choose to receive the product in one working day for free as i joined Amazon Prime, and i was thinking why there is not the one hour shipping cost in my city.

In 5 years the consumers and the online retailers have changed their attitudes and propositions


The consumers in the past years have changed their attitude to live the web surfing with process there was already beginning that we can border in two sub seams: mobility and loneliness.


As we can see in the graphic the global mobile growth is not anymore just a trend, but it’s a fact that in the next four year more than duplicate. More the consumer become familiar with mobile devices, more they implode their real network and social activities even because they can now fill in a list of different actions from every place they are with any geographical need.

It means that the consumers can satisfy in mobility their needs splitting in micormoments:i want to know,  i want to go, i want to do and i want to know.


In 5 years the online retailers set the free shipping not like a perk, but like a necessity

The reasons is that as much as people like buying things cheaper online, they don’t like waiting to get them, especially if shipping costs significantly increase the final cost. So in the last years the delivery policy and the costs for a shipping decreased and opeed so the possibiltiy to offer free shipping even for smaller retailer.

So now is more easy to find different shipping solutions when we are in the cart to conclude the order, applying to some program like Amazon Prime i can have my order in 1 working day, that is a strong promise and USP, most of all if it come from the top player in the market.


In some city Amazon can deliver even in one hour the product that i buy. When and if the possibilities will be spread even in other cities, the online shipping paradigm will drastically change.


Do the consumer really ask for that?

According to a reasearch of Accent, the 88% of consumers would be more likely to shop online if they were promised free shipping. Consumers are also motivated to shop online by deals and promotions (30%) and the possibility that they might be able to avoid holiday crowds (20%). A survey of suggested that customers are most motivated by percentage discounts while free or discounted shipping was the most effective customer incentive they could offer, 9 points below the response rate for percentage discounts. –


What can be the balance of that two incentives? An other research help us to understand whether consumers prefer free shipping instead of discounts and the results was very interesting because it shows how the activities should be adapted for the different target; in fact the preferences changes by demographic and age most of all.


The results revealed that respondents between the ages of 18 and 45 preferred percentage discounts to free shipping when making a digital purchase while the olders consumers preferred free shipping above discounts.What customers are willing to pay for is quality. In fact they declared to be open to paying more for a quality item, especially when the brand delivers positive customer service as well.

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