40% of Online Retailers Offer Free Shipping as a Means of Attracting Customers

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Discount Coupon Network, a website that tracks online retailers' shipping policies reports that 40% of the surveyed companies have a free shipping policy in place as a means of differentiating themselves from the competition and attracting customers.

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A survey by Discount Coupon Network (DCN) of 1091 online retail websites shows that roughly 40% offer some sort of permanent free shipping policy to their customers. DCN reported that free shipping policies included in their survey ranged from free shipping on all products purchase on a merchant's website, to free shipping above a threshhold purchase price, for example a customer would receive free shipping when their purchase total exceeded $100. DCN also reported that this threshold averaged $136 for the online merchants included in this survey.

Shipping costs can be as high as 30% of an online shopper's total order, so free shipping can be an important factor for consumers when choosing an online merchant to order from. In fact, shipping costs can quickly eat up any savings the customer had hoped to achieve through the use of another popular promotion tool, the online coupon. "It is important to check the total cost of any online purchase before deciding where to buy," says Jennifer Hempfling of DCN. "The consumer should look at the offered price of a product, less any coupon savings, and then calculate their shipping fees, applicable sales tax amounts and even costs associated with returning the product. Only then can the consumer be sure they are really getting the best deal."

About Discount Coupon Network:

DCN is a hand edited coupon directory listing deals, coupons and offers for over 1,000 online retailers plus customer service policies and comparative shopping statistics. Consumer information such as shipping, returns, sales tax and accepted payment method are tracked and reported in a standardized format. Visitors can also read and write reviews.

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Jennifer Anderson
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