In the Online Shopping World, Free return Shipping is the Rising Star

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FreeShipping.com today announced the results of a member survey that measured which factors are driving purchasing decisions among their members. When asked which element was most important to them when making an online purchase an overwhelming number rated free return shipping as a crucial element in their decision. Free shipping on all orders was considered “Important” or “Very Important” by 89% of the responders, with free return shipping just a point behind at 88%.

http://www.freeshipping.com today announced the results of a member survey that measured which factors are driving purchasing decisions among their members. When asked which element was most important to them when making an online purchase an overwhelming number rated free return shipping as a crucial element in their decision. Free shipping on all orders was considered “Important” or “Very Important” by 89% of the responders, with free return shipping just a point behind at 88%.

As savvy online shoppers search for the best price and gravitate toward those merchants offering great deals, having the ability to replicate the offline experience of walking back into a store, with item in hand, and returning it plays a surprisingly large role in the purchasing decision. From the view of the consumer, peace of mind and feeling secure in their purchase factor heavily when making their purchasing decisions.

Tom Caporaso, FreeShipping.com’s President and COO said, “Our members are buyers, not browsers, and are already seeking out the best deals online. Free shipping is always going to be the #1 driver in their decision, but having their return shipping charges covered adds peace of mind to the shopping experience.” Mr. Caporaso went on to add, “The recent Free Shipping Wars we saw during the 2010 holiday season prove that Free Shipping is a major purchase decision influencer, however free return shipping is playing an increasingly larger role in influencing customers’ buying behavior. Shoppers like to feel protected when they make their purchase. Customers will very likely continue to return to those stores offering free returns, since an unexpected complication with their order becomes far less complicated, and fosters goodwill when the merchant picks up the cost of getting it right.”

So while it is important to present offers that will attract customers to your website, it is just as important to alleviate your customers’ fears about a purchase that may not work out, and offer them the peace of mind of being able to confidently return the item without encountering an additional cost. This combination of attractive deals and customer peace of mind leads to customers shopping with you more often and with more confidence, and in the long run makes for a more profitable customer relationship.

About FreeShipping.com
FreeShipping.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clarus Marketing Group, was launched in 2002 as a subscription service developed for avid online shoppers motivated by free shipping. Clarus is privately held and recently announced that they have obtained a significant investment from Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), a leading global investment firm. For more information, please visit http://clarusmarketing.com/news/news_key_growth_milestones.html. For more information about Clarus Marketing Group, please visit http://www.clarusmarketing.com.

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Tom Caporaso

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