Free Shipping, Exclusive Deals Spur Online Shoppers To Spend More - InformationWeek

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Free Shipping, Exclusive Deals Spur Online Shoppers To Spend More

More than nine in 10 consumers listed free shipping as a motivator for opening their wallets wider, while more than 65% said exclusive offers would boost spending, according to a report from The Conference Board.

A majority of online shoppers say free shipping and special deals not available in stores are incentives to spend more during the holiday season, a survey shows.

More than nine in 10 consumers listed free shipping as a motivator for opening their wallets wider, while more than 65% said exclusive offers would boost spending, according to the latest Consumer Internet Barometer report released Tuesday by The Conference Board.

In addition, half of holiday shoppers would buy more merchandise if it were available only online, and an equal proportion said the same about the ability to return items to a store. Fully 35% of the 10,000 households covered in the report said free return postage would up online holiday purchases.

"Consumers are clearly willing to increase their online holiday purchases, but only if retailers are willing to offer holiday bargains online that are better than or different from what they are offering in stores," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center, in a statement. "If retailers want to increase their share of the online market, free shipping, exclusivity, and bargains are sure ways to get consumers to point, click, and order more during the holidays."

Nevertheless, online shoppers are likely to make their largest purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. Only 5% of respondents planned to spend more than $500 online this holiday season, while 22% said they would spend that amount or more offline.

Bargain hunters remained the most common type of online shopper, and included nearly as many women as men, 40% to 43%, respectively.

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