One of the major inconveniences of the holiday shopping season is waiting in line, whether to purchase or return items. The nonstop promotions and the occasional “door busters” are making a quick stop at the mall a nuisance. This year instead of heading to the stores to bear these inconveniences, savvy holiday shoppers are going online due to the convenience of on demand hours, ability to compare prices and free shipping offers.
Consumers are looking for Free Return Shipping when they shop online this holiday season consumers are looking for Free Return Shipping when they shop online this holiday season In a recent shop.org eHoliday 09′ survey, potential online customers were asked what will drive them to shop online as opposed to the brick-and-mortar stores. These are the top 10 reasons why consumers will buy online this holiday season:
- 24-hour shopping convenience
- Ability to compare prices
- Free shipping offers
- Not wanting to fight crowds
- Ease of finding wanted items
- E-mail promotions
- Not having to pay sales tax
- Wanting to avoid checkout line
In addition, participants of the survey were asked to rate how free return shipping affects their buying decision. According to the results, over half of online consumers stated that free shipping for returns is “Very Important” to them, yet only a limited number of retailers plan to offer such a promotion to their customers this holiday season.
One retailer who offers free return shipping is overstockArt.com, an online art gallery of hand painted oil paintings. According to CEO David Sasson, overstockArt.com knows that especially during the holidays when entertaining guests is a high priority, customers need to love the art that hangs on their wall: “Our company motto is a commitment to wall art happiness” says Sasson, “Our focus is on our customers and we understand that happy customers help us grow our business and help us spread the story of overstockArt.com oil paintings.”
Sasson, along with Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, call this a customer intimate strategy. They both understand that allowing people to easily return online removes many of the fears, uncertainties and doubts of online shopping.
According to the shop.org findings, having a customer intimate strategy this holiday season will drive customers to shop online rather than the brick-and-mortar stores. Companies that will embrace the customer and offer high quality products will enjoy a successful holiday shopping season.