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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Economy Sends Consumers Online
    This new June 2008 Linkshare survey conducted by JupiterResearch said the following about online shoppers in the US:

    1. On average, online consumers predict that their offline spending will decrease more than their online spending.

    2. Offline spending is predicted to drop 6.3% versus a smaller drop of 4.2% online.

    3. Most online consumers (81%) believe they are facing an economic recession.

    4. 56% of the online “Influencers” plan to do more product and price research online. They want to make sure that they get the best price as a result of the struggling economy.

    Source
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
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  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Very logical conclusions on this one. It stands to reason that with fuel costs so high, as well as countless products and food item costs that are affected by the oil industry that more people are beginning to better utilize the internet for some of their shopping needs.

    I can imagine the next level when gasoline reached $6.50 a gallon. Some opportunities in the making will undoubtedly surface as always in an entrepreneurial world.
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    Very logical conclusions on this one. It stands to reason that with fuel costs so high, as well as countless products and food item costs that are affected by the oil industry that more people are beginning to better utilize the internet for some of their shopping needs.

    I can imagine the next level when gasoline reached $6.50 a gallon. Some opportunities in the making will undoubtedly surface as always in an entrepreneurial world.

    Good point, Alan. Additionally, free or discounted shipping offers look more attractive as shipping costs are going up with the price of fuel. Today I ordered a large spa cover online and got free shipping. A local spa shop 10 miles away wanted $35.00 for delivery.
    ~Ernie

  4. #4
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    If online merchants look at this, they'll realize that "free shipping" in the clincher. Makes for better than average conversions because it takes away the ultimate consumer rebuttal for buying.

    Merchants, do us all a favor and cut your shipping prices and/or offer free shipping whenever possible. It's the ultimate close!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    If online merchants look at this, they'll realize that "free shipping" in the clincher. Makes for better than average conversions because it takes away the ultimate consumer rebuttal for buying.

    Merchants, do us all a favor and cut your shipping prices and/or offer free shipping whenever possible. It's the ultimate close!
    Good idea Rex! We can just deduct the hard shipping costs from affiliate commissions!!!

    Seriously though, free shipping will definitely have a positive effect where merchants can offer it, even if they qualify it as free on "orders over "x" amount."
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  6. #6
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    Good idea Rex! We can just deduct the hard shipping costs from affiliate commissions!!!
    I would gladly donate a portion of my commission to help offer free shipping to my visitors. If the theory is sound, I'd be seeing more conversions and so the drop in commission could be viable.

    If any merchant wants to try this, let me know. I'll take less commission for a free shipping offer to my visitors.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    As we all know there is never free shipping.

    What must happen is the shipping costs have to built into the selling price.

    This can't be done on a $5 item.

    The hard costs to get a box out the door is going up every month Fedex increases their fuel surcharge, the cost of packaging supplies is up etc.

    There is a point that we found thru testing where it can work and work well it's where the item selling price is above $35.

    The reason is $5-8 can be hidden so to speak.

    We see shipping at about 15% of the costs to the buyer.

    When you add that to the price of the goods you will lose sales in many comparison engines.

    Now in the affiliate world the merchant is paying commission on the built in shipping costs????

    So the products need to be selected very carefully.

    We have about 1,000 currently, that's out of 47,000.

    We're only testing for about 2 months.

    We are working on highlighting those products better similar to the way Amazon uses Prime free shipping.

    By the end of Q3 we should have enough data
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  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I don't think free shipping is all it's cracked up to be.
    I have 3 merchant sites, and they each have a different shipping setup. One free shipping, one "table rate" shipping (price depends on cost of order), and one with flat-rate shipping.

    The free shipping one has the cost in the price, of course. That makes it seem expensive in Froogle. I think order volume on this site could be better. Free shipping has not shown itself to be a magic bullet.

    The one with flat-rate shipping works, but that could be because my competition in that niche is charging way too much! It does keep the prices looking nice in Froogle.

    The table-rate one is GoodBulbs (so I can go ahead and mention its name since everybody knows it anyway). It's not really possible to guess an average shipping cost for bulb orders--the weight depends on how many packs people buy, and the average amount of packs ordered has varied every year! So the only way to keep my shirt findable on that, is to charge according to order size.

    Bulb customers don't seem to mind paying the table rate. But, bulb sales (at bulb-sellers) are very quality-driven. It's not like some man-made thing where one is as good as another (as long as it's the same brand/model). Growing, handling, and storage conditions greatly affects living plants, and bulbs are no exception--"dormant" is still alive. There are some cheapskates out there, but they probably go to the big-box stores (and learn the hard way).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    I would gladly donate a portion of my commission to help offer free shipping to my visitors.
    YOU may be willing, but not me! My stats don't bear out the idea that free shipping is a magic bullet for closing.

    Plus I don't think you'd really want to donate your commission to pay for free shipping on a nontrivial order from a Californian (shipped from MI)...it'd be "Congratulations, you have made negative $10! Send your check to..."
    Last edited by Leader; June 28th, 2008 at 07:22 AM.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetsWarehouse.com
    As we all know there is never free shipping.

    What must happen is the shipping costs have to built into the selling price.

    This can't be done on a $5 item.

    The hard costs to get a box out the door is going up every month Fedex increases their fuel surcharge, the cost of packaging supplies is up etc.

    There is a point that we found thru testing where it can work and work well it's where the item selling price is above $35.

    The reason is $5-8 can be hidden so to speak.

    We see shipping at about 15% of the costs to the buyer.

    When you add that to the price of the goods you will lose sales in many comparison engines.

    Now in the affiliate world the merchant is paying commission on the built in shipping costs????

    So the products need to be selected very carefully.

    We have about 1,000 currently, that's out of 47,000.

    We're only testing for about 2 months.

    We are working on highlighting those products better similar to the way Amazon uses Prime free shipping.

    By the end of Q3 we should have enough data
    Very interesting information. We did a study on our site recently and found that far and away, free shipping was what was motivating our members to make purchases. It's always interesting to me who does free shipping and at what levels. I'm sure that good merchants must really run a lot of different numbers to find the points at which it is worth it to do free shipping and not worth it.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

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