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Report: Holiday shoppers love free shipping

BY Dan Berthiaume

STAMFORD, Conn. — Online shoppers will do anything to quality for free shipping-even spend more money.

Sixty percent of holiday shoppers say they have increased their online spending in the past to qualify for free shipping, according to the 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey from Pitney Bowes. 

In other results that put a spotlight on shipping, 93% of consumers find shipping options to be an important factor in their overall shopping experience, a 23% increase from 2014. And  88% of those surveyed find free shipping with a five-to-seven-day delivery to be the most attractive shipping option.

 Survey results also show consumers want to be able to select from an array of choices and alternatives to address shopping, shipping and returns preferences. Sixty-eight percent of online shoppers have previously used a promotional code or coupon to receive a shipping discount. Eighty percent say they’d also be more willing to purchase online if they had a promotional code or coupon. Additionally, 60% say they have increased their online spending in the past to qualify for free shipping.

The survey also finds that  most Americans plan to shop both in-store (94%) and online (92%) this holiday season, with 94% of consumers planning to shop from a computer and 49% making purchases from a mobile device.

The majority of consumers suggest they’re more willing to shop online during a sales event (61%), while 39% are more willing to shop with retailers who offer a premium membership (a paid-for membership that offers faster and cheaper shipping).

Once a retailer processes an online transaction, nearly all shoppers (98%) track their packages for an estimated time of delivery. The majority of shoppers track their orders via email (39%) compared to a mobile device (30%) or a retailer’s website (28%).

When asked about return options, the majority of shoppers prefer to return packages in a nearby store (39%). However, 38% prefer returning packages via a shipping provider, while only one in five shoppers prefer to have a courier pick up a package from their location. When it comes to gender preferences, survey results show that 45% of women are more likely to return a package in a nearby store, whereas 43% of men prefer to return a package via a shipping provider.

When asked to select time periods in which consumers planned to do the majority of their shopping, results show that 30% will shop before Thanksgiving, 41% will shop from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 26% will shop on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, 17% will shop on Cyber Monday, and 13% will shop on the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

For more info, see the infographic below.

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