An advertising watchdog’s report found dozens of claims that it says were false and deceptive. Wal-Mart blames suppliers.
71 of the top 100 online retailers offered free shipping on their e-commerce sites this week, up from 65 last week, and more of them offered free shipping on all orders. Several also are offering free shipping as late as Dec. 23 for Christmas delivery.
71 of the top 100 online retailers offered free shipping on their e-commerce sites for the week of Monday, Dec. 8, up from 65 last week, and more of them offered free shipping on all orders, according to a survey by Internet Retailer. Several also are offering free shipping as late as Dec. 23 for Christmas delivery.
Seven retailers in the survey-Neiman Marcus, Office Depot, Overstock.com, Oriental Trading, Saks, Talbots and Tiffany-offered free shipping without a minimum order requirement. Office Depot limited its offer, however, to customers whose addresses are within the retail chain’s local delivery areas.
Saks upgraded its offer from a minimum $200 order in the prior week. Neiman Marcus offered an additional upgrade, until Dec. 14, to free 3-day delivery for customers who use a special code presented on the home page.
Four retailers in the survey-Tiffany, Overstock, Office Depot and Talbots- offered free delivery by Dec. 24 for orders placed as late as Dec. 23. Office Depot is limiting this offer to customers within its local delivery areas, and Overstock is limiting it to select products.
Other retailers are more aggressively promoting free-shipping on their home pages. Target displayed a large notice on its home page this week-“Biggest shipping event ever, on 60,000+ gifts”-that was good through Dec. 13. Shoppers could click further into the offer to find that it covered about 5,000 toys, for which shoppers could then search by toy category. They could also search free-shipping offers within the product categories of Electronics, Kitchen, Home and Furniture. Victoria’s Secret offered a large homepage spread promoting free second-day shipping on orders of $100 or more.
Urban Outfitters slashed last week’s minimum free-shipping order of $200 to $75 this week. Best Buy introduced free shipping on all orders to loyalty club members, and Gap offered free shipping on all orders to holders of its premium Gap and Banana Republic private label credit cards.
NetShops introduced free shipping to go with price discounts of 60% on toys, and CVS offered free shipping along with discounts of 30% on certain products.
Drugstore.com introduced an offer that provided free shipping if shoppers included one of a select number of items in an order; it also continued to offer free shipping on first non-prescription orders of $25 or more and on most non-prescription orders of $49 or more.
Some retailers who did not offer free shipping this week provided alternatives. Walmart.com offered a Site-to-Store Express service that, for a $29 annual fee, will deliver online orders to a shopper`s nearest Wal-Mart store within 3-5 days, about half the delivery time under its free Site-to-Store program.
The survey compiled the number of free-shipping offers presented on the web sites of the top 100 online retailers as listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, 2008 Edition. It did not include all free-shipping offers that may have appeared only outside of the web sites, such as in e-mail marketing campaigns.