August 29, 2011, 1:17 PM

Nordstrom makes free shipping and returns standard

The upscale chain joins a growing list of e-retailers trying to gain sales through free shipping.

Allison Enright

Editor

Lead Photo

Upscale department store chain Nordstrom Inc. said today that it will offer U.S. customers free standard shipping and free return shipping on nearly all orders placed on Nordstrom.com. Previously, the e-retailer offered free shipping only on orders of $200 or more or as part of limited-time promotions.

Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Direct, says expanding the retailer’s free shipping offers will make it easier and more convenient for consumers to shop the online store. Earlier this month, the company announced that it would invest about 15% of its capital expenditure budget, some $375 million, toward improving its e-commerce capabilities during the next five years. Nordstrom is No. 34 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

According to terms listed on Nordstrom.com, free standard shipping does not apply to Coach-brand items or on the Westin Heavenly Bed. Consumers can expect to receive their orders within three to eight business days if they choose the free shipping option. Faster shipping options are available for an additional fee, ranging from $15 for two-day delivery to $35 for Saturday delivery.

Free shipping and returns does not apply to international orders. 

U.S. consumers who want to return an item use a pre-paid U.S. Postal Service shipping label enclosed with their order.

Nordstrom joins a growing list of e-retailers that are making free shipping standard on most orders. The list includes apparel retailer L.L. Bean, No. 21 in the Guide, and shoe e-retailer Zappos.com, a division of Amazon.com Inc., No. 1.

Comments | 4 Responses

  • If you do this don;t do it like LLBean's. They take 2 plus weeks to deliver for free when decades of customer experience is quite the opposite. No way to keep your good reputation...You get what you pay for. This too shall pass.

  • That is a good point--I've been put off sites when I get free "standard" shipping, only to wait 2-4 weeks for my package. It seems almost like a false hook to draw customers, and makes me less likely to buy from the same place (feels like bad customer service). How much might shipping time matter to consumers and influence this new trend, do you think?

  • That's an interesting thought - having orders shipped parcel post would change everything. But if they do it anything like Zappos does it, it will be fantastic. Their shipping is very fast, often upgraded to overnight with no charge! Returns are free, too. Whatever their business model is, it works. Hopefully this trend will really catch on. There's nothing like seeing an addition $7 - $9+ shipping cost added to your order to make you think twice before submitting.

  • i cant believe this!! me and my sister just got two i-pads for $42.77 each and a $50 amazon card for $9. the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you. go here PennyOrder.com

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