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Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, and Jeff Bezos has once again improved on Amazon’s free delivery offer.

This year Amazon has lowered the threshold for free deliverability eligibility to a mere £5, down from £15. It means that about 90% of orders placed through Amazon will qualify for free delivery.

Amazon’s free delivery offer was first unveiled in the UK in 2002, when a consumer had to purchase - what now seems like a staggering - £39 worth of goods to qualify.

The £15 threshold was introduced three years ago, when previously it had been £19.

The Telegraph quotes Amazon UK MD Bruce McBride, who said: “It is to get people lifted for Christmas. Times are tough out there and this will come as a welcome bonus for people.”

As a sales-driver, there are few better things that an e-tailer can do.

Consumers understand what free delivery is all about. It is a simple-to-grasp concept, and it removes mental barriers. Research has shown that more than a third of customers point to free delivery as ‘the most important factor’ in their last purchase.

E-consultancy has previously advised retailers to give free delivery a whirl. If you cannot offer it across the board, then do what Amazon does and introduce a valuation threshold, or simply make it available for more expensive items.

This sort of offer will boost conversions, but it also plays a vital role in your marketing campaigns. Use it as bait.

It is worth remembering that many consumers who are attracted to a free delivery offer will actually select ‘next day delivery’, rather than waiting for their products to arrive.

Further Reading
E-commerce delivery options - five key tips

Chris Lake

Published 16 October, 2008 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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Adi

Great stuff by Google. Should see them come near the top of the tree again this Christmas.

about 8 years ago

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Emma

Yes, free delivery is a great sales driver as long as you can afford it. Amazon probably can in the run-up to christmas, as average baskets will be high value. However, if it doesn't work for your bottom line despite the increased sales (and it may not for any e-tailers with low profit margins, low value average baskets and a limited lifetime customer value), then don't do it blindly. Not everyone has the volume of Amazon to sustain loss or margin.

about 8 years ago

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