December 9, 2008, 12:00 AM

Online retailers are offering shipping promotions later in holiday season

77% of online retailers in a survey conducted for Shop.org are offering free shipping in time for Christmas delivery on orders placed between Dec. 15 and Dec. 25, compared to 61% who offered free shipping that late in the holiday season last year.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

77% of online retailers in a survey conducted for Shop.org are offering free shipping in time for Christmas delivery on orders placed between Dec. 15 and Dec. 25, compared to 61% who offered free shipping that late in the holiday season last year, according to the survey by BizRate Research of 60 online retailers and more than 2,000 online buyers in September and October. BizRate is a unit of Shopzilla Inc., an online shopping search engine.

The number of free-shipping offers will peak this year on Dec. 16, when 18% of retailers will offer it, according to the survey. By comparison, the peak free-shipping day last year was on Dec. 18, when 19.4% of retailers offered it, BizRate says.

But more retailers this year are also offering free shipping closer to Christmas. This year, 25.6% of retailers will offer free shipping Dec. 21 through Dec. 24, compared to 11.9% who offered it during the same period last year, the survey says.

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