01E-tailers Target Shipping Shopper Niche to Decrease Cart Abandonment
What alerted the consumer-favorite Internet and mobile retailers that the Shipping Shopper niche was emerging was the cyber retail phenomenon of shopping cart abandonment. Online and mobile shoppers who had been lured onto a website or app with deals and discounts ended up clicking away from their fully stocked cyber shopping cart without completing their purchase because of shipping sticker shock.
It didn’t take too many of those unproductive cyber fool's shopping errands to motivate Internet and mobile consumers to shift to Shipping Shopper behaviors. And It also didn’t take too many of those checkouts to motivate Internet and mobile retailers to shift to Shipping Shopper selling strategies.
Not every mobile and online retail customer can be defined as a Shipping Shopper. This is a specific niche of mobile and online shoppers who specifically shop for the best free, fast, and mobile shopping offers first, and then use the best shipping offers to guide them towards their purchase decisions.
So it’s much like extreme couponing in a way. Extreme couponers fashion their shopping list based on the best rolling, stacking BOGO coupon combos they can find. And similarly, Shipping Shoppers look for the best combination of fast, free, and mobile shipping offers first, and then look for the product offerings and deals within that shopping portal secondarily.
The most successful U.S. retailers in the 2015 Christmas holiday shopping season are likely going to be the retailers that are most successful at capturing the Shipping Shopper share of cyberwallet in the quiet spaces between the deep discount deal days. The 2015 Christmas Shipping Shoppers are well-positioned to benefit from retailer awareness of their presence just as much as aware retailers are well-positioned to benefit from the steadfast commitment of Shipping Shoppers to finding the fast and free delivery that helps them avoid mall parking lots in the month of December.
NEXT: Shipping Shoppers Are Retail Cyber-Stalked After the No-Sale Sale >>
02Shipping Shoppers Are Retail Cyber-Stalked After the No-Sale Sale
Shipping Shoppers are finding that cart abandonment is not the end of an e-commerce transaction, but rather it is the beginning of retail cyber-stalking after a no-sale sale has occurred. Retailers like Zappos, Walmart, Staples and Kohl's are willing to cyber-stalk Shipping Shoppers right into their email box for the sake of shopping cart abandonment recovery.
About 5.2% of cart abandoners will return to complete the purchase if an email is sent to them within 20 minutes of their cart abandonment. That purchase recovery rate decreases by half if the retailer waits 24 hours to start cyber-stalking its shopping cart abandoner.
Shipping charges are the #1 reason why virtual shopping carts are abandoned, according to a 2015 survey by eMarketer. Approximately 56% of all no-sale sales can be attributed to shipping sticker shock, and about 54% of cart abandonment is related to the total price of the purchase, after shipping is added, according to eMarketer.
So, online and mobile shoppers are finding that they can get the free shipping offer they want by walking away from an unpurchased shopping cart and waiting for a one-off free shipping bribe to arrive in their e-mail box within 24 hours. Shipping shoppers enjoy the power play, and e-tailers enjoy recovering their portion of the $4 trillion worth of sales revenue that's left behind in unpurchased shopping carts each year.
NEXT: Free Return Shipping Is a Big, New Free Shipping Trend >>
03Free Return Shipping Is Big, New Free Shipping Trend in E-commerce
Free shipping is so common, so expected, and "So what?" especially during the Christmas shopping season. The new generation of empowered online and mobile shoppers are looking for something more than just ordinary, expected, predictable free shipping.from their favorite e-tailers. And that "something more," that Internet and mobile shoppers are looking for is free RETURN shipping.
For multi-channel retailers like Walmart, Macy's, Best Buy and Kohl's, e-commerce returns aren't such a big issue. That's one of the few reasons that shoppers will still visit a physical retail store - to return unwanted Internet and mobile purchases and avoid the return postage charges.
Free return shipping offers aren't yet commonplace among e-tailers with no brick-and-mortar stores. That's good news for the e-commerce businesses that have factored free return shipping into their business model. Free return shipping is still rare enough to capture attention and provide a tangible competitive advantage.
it's bad news for e-commerce customers, however, because they are often forced to search through the fine print of shipping terms and conditions in order to identify free-return-shipping e-tailers
Or they could just click here for the Free Return Shipping E-tailers roundup list >>
NEXT: Free Shipping for Paid Membership and Loyalty Club Members >>
04Paid Membership, Loyalty Club Free Shipping for Shipping Charge Haters
The most important promotional offer that the most consumers plan to use to make a Christmas shopping purchase is free shipping. An estimated 72% of Internet and mobile Christmas shoppers plan to take advantage of a free shipping offer to make Christmas gift purchases, according to the 2015 Holiday Survey by Deloitte.
Additionally, the 2015 Holiday Shipping Survey by Pitney Bowes revealed that 60% of Internet and mobile shoppers have and will continue to purchase more in order to get free shipping. Anyway you look at it, there are a lot of shipping charge haters in cyberspace, and most of them live in the U.S.
Finding a free shipping formula that works for both e-commerce sellers and buyers is a challenge, but more and more e-tailers are finding ways to make free shipping work from within a paid membership and/or loyalty club program.
The most famous free-shipping-for-paid-membership program in the world is Amazon Prime, a program that was ridiculed by the retail community when it began, and now ten years later, is enthusiastically used by an estimated 25 - 70 million paying members. Amazon Prime has so fundamentally changed the expectations of online shoppers that other e-tailers have become Prime copycats. Sears, Kmart, Walmart, and Barnes & Noble are just some of the retailers that give members Prime-esque benefits like free shipping on all purchases with no minimum purchase requirements in exchange for a membership fee.
NEXT: Free Shipping Day Is Huge Again on December 18, 2015 >>
05Free Shipping Day Regains Its Retail Relevance on December 18, 2015
Free Shipping Day became irrelevant shortly after it began because Internet and mobile retailers quickly learned that free shipping was not a one-day promotion, it was an essential Christmas shopping season strategy. So free shipping came to be expected by consumers, and commonly offered by e-tailers. "Free Shipping Day" really was nothing different and Free Shipping Day offers were nothing special - just more of the same.
But Free Shipping Day organizers deserve promotional praise for redefining Free Shipping Day in 2015 so that it regained its retail relevance. On Free Shipping Day December 18, 2015, in order to participate, e-tailers have to commit to making a Free Shipping With No Minimum Purchase offer on December 18th, along with the guarantee of delivery by Christmas Eve, December 24, 2015.
In 2015, there are more than 1,000 websites - major, minor, large, small, popular, unknown, mega, and niche - that are "officially" offering free shipping deals on the official "Free Shipping Day." As the only true cooperative one-day retail events of the 2015 Christmas holiday shopping season, it should be successful for all participants, if the weather and the major shipping companies cooperate.
That's a big "if," considering it hasn't really been that long since the overloaded UPS and Fedex delivery systems massively failed to meet the Christmas Day 2013 delivery deadline. Unfortunately, in the final days before Christmas, both retail success and consumer satisfaction are completely dependent on three companies which may or may not be prepared to handle the Free Shipping Day onslaught.
NEXT: Free Click-to-brick, Ship-to-Store, Buy-Online-In-Store Pickup Options >>
06Free Click-to-Brick, Ship-to-Store, Buy-Online-In-Store-Pickup Options
Whether it's Click-to-Brick or Ship-to-Store, any free buy-online-in-store-pickup offer smells just as sweet. The integrated multi-channel concept of in-store pickup for online purchases is not new in the 2015 Christmas holiday shopping season, but it has expanded greatly in both consumer popularity and retail availability.
A recent survey by the IT business consulting firm Cognizant revealed that 30% of online shoppers use a ship-to-store option at least once per month. That's good news for multi-channel retailers. But the even better news is that 65% of ship-to-store customer make additional purchases during their in-store pickup trip.
These are compelling reasons why a free in-store pickup option makes good retail sense. But the key word in that sentence is "good," which a majority of shoppers say the average in-store pickup experience is not. In fact, a whopping 60% of the shoppers surveyed who use in-store pickup services had some significant dissatisfaction with the experience, which makes no good retail sense.
As with everything in retailing, if you can't do it well, you shouldn't do it at all.
Free, Fast, Mobile Shipping Offers
With the explosive growth of mobile and online shopping, the “Shipping Shopper” has emerged as its own significant retail demographic. So, it’s all about free, mobile, and fast shipping offers for retailers that want to capture the Shipping Shopper share of wallet in the lull between the Thanksgiving-Black-Friday-Cyber-Monday mashup and Super Saturday last-minute deep discount shopping frenzies.