The Essence of Free Shipping

The convenience of online shopping has skyrocketed in its popularity and has been steadily increasing since its inception in the mid-nineties. In the early days of online retail, the thought of no shipping charges was non-existent. Shipping fees were accepted to be a necessary evil for the benefits that shopping online provided. Today, online shopping has evolved just as much as the internet itself and with all the kinks of safety and quality management worked out, online shopping is becoming a quick replacement to the more traditional form of retail stores. To receive free shipping was a rare treat indeed, usually reserved for the customers who spent outrageous amounts of money to begin with. But now, with so many online retailers offering free shipping, no matter how much or how little you spend, it begs the question why accept shipping fees at all? All it takes is a little internet browsing and any shopper can find whatever product they are looking for without adding to the price just to have it shipped to them. In the age of the internet and almost everything going viral, including shopping, consumers have gained a few basic rights and should settle for nothing less. This of course includes the essential feature of free shipping.

With more and more online merchants offering free shipping, it's becoming increasingly difficult for those who don't, to get a way with charging for shipping costs. Smart consumers know their rights and simply will not settle for paying for something when they can get it elsewhere for free. The demands of the consumers can't be ignored and companies are responding. According to a survey conducted by the Internet Retailer, sixty-one of the largest one hundred online retailers are offering free shipping. In another similar survey by comScore, seventy-two percent of consumers said that if an e-commerce site eliminated free shipping, they would use another e-commerce site that did. So the options are out there and consumers have spoken loudly about it, offer free shipping or we will go to a place that does.

Free shipping doesn't only benefit smart shoppers; it is actually a good incentive for business owners. Studies show that most online shoppers tend to spend more when they know that free shipping is available and are less likely to abandon their shopping carts due to unexpectedly high shipping fees. Free shipping not only has become a basic service for shoppers but a demand. It has become one of top, if not the most important, factor for consumers when trying to decide which online retailer is right for them. There are too many e-commerce retailers out there to even count and they all offer the benefits that we find in shopping online: the convenience, product choice, availability, and privacy. It is easy for all these stores to run together in a shopper's mind, so they need to have an edge, something that will set them apart from the rest. This edge is free shipping and to be able to provide that for consumers will lead to better business because ninety percent of shoppers said they would spend more online if free shipping was included and an entire seventy-two percent said they would leave an online store if free shipping was excluded and go to one that has it. A savvy consumer should realize that online retailers should not get away with charging for shipping, when so many offer it for free.

The old saying goes that "there is no such thing as a free lunch" and with cost of living so high and even a cup of coffee going for five dollars, that saying has never been true as it is now with the current economic situation. So if you have to spend on the higher side when you shop online, why not utilize the perks that are being offered? Free shipping is out there and businesses know they should be offering something like that when their competitors are to stay in the game. Take advantage of free shipping at all possible times it can really make a difference in the end amount when you go to check out your purchases. Free shipping is no longer a luxury, it has become a shopper's essential perk.

Bio: Written by Aimee Malicki, a product specialist for WhatSheBuys. WhatSheBuys offers free Internet shipping with no minimum purchase required on a huge selection of world class brands that include UGG Australia and Longchamp. WhatSheBuys is a 5 star rated Yahoo retailer and AAA plus rated by the Better Business Bureau.