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Online Retailing

Target expands free shipping offers to consumers

June 25, 2014

Minneapolis--After receiving shopper feedback that the previous policy was confusing, Target announced Monday that it will begin offering free standard shipping on nearly all orders over $50.

The new policy, which offers shipping and delivery in three to five business days, is effective immediately and helps to make the retailer more competitive in the saturated e-commerce market by making tens of thousands more products eligible for free shipping.

Target’s previous free shipping offer only included select items, which many shoppers didn’t realize until they were at checkout, confusing them as to why they were being charged shipping because only some of the items were eligible. 

“We’ve heard from guests they don’t fully understand our shipping policy, so we’ve changed it to make it simpler and reduce the friction in making purchases on the site,” said Jason Goldberger, senior vice president of Target.com and Mobile. “Providing our guests a better free shipping offer is just one of the many ways we continue to improve the Target.com experience.”

In addition to the free shipping for online orders, Target also has improved its e-commerce service by allowing customers to browse the website for in-store merchandise and purchase most of those items online for pick-up in the store.

Offering free shipping is something that consumers have come to expect from retailers, according to a recent survey by comScore and UPS.

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The survey results, released earlier this month, show that free shipping continues to drive consumer decisions when it comes to shopping online, with a total of 58 percent of survey-takers adding items to their cart to push the total to the free-shipping threshold.

Respondents also indicated that they are willing to wait longer if it means they won’t have to pay for shipping, with 83 percent stating they would wait an extra two days for an item if it meant the shipping would be free.

To remain competitive in the shipping realm, Amazon also announced last month that it would expand its Sunday delivery, in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, to 15 more cities.