Tuesday, June 17, 2008

FreeShipping.org debuts

Fueled by the escalating cost for a tank of gas and the convenience of making discounted purchases from home, a growing number of consumers are flocking to the Internet for online shopping instead of driving to brick and mortar stores. Yet online shopping can have drawbacks, namely the shipping fees that many retailers charge.

Savvy online shoppers recognize that the cost of shipping can determine whether a purchase is worthwhile, thus the value of buying items from merchants who offer free shipping. Locating Internet retailers that provide these deals was challenging, until the debut of FreeShipping.org.

Launched last December, FreeShipping.org is a one-stop destinations for consumers to find online retailers that offer free shipping deals. The site, which includes more than 750 name-brand stores, allows visitors to search by brand or category.

Among the major retailers on FreeShipping.org are JCPenney, Target, Bloomingdale’s, Kohl’s, Sears, Best Buy, Old Navy, and Nordstrom. Macy’s is one of the site’s top partners, offering as many as 15 free shipping coupons at one time.

“Many online shoppers can identify with the experience of finding a great deal and then discovering an expensive shipping charge during checkout,” said Luke Knowles, who founded FreeShipping.org with his wife, Maisie. “Shopping online is more appealing when you know that you won’t have to pay for shipping.”

Online shoppers and retailers alike have found FreeShipping.org beneficial. Traffic on the site has doubled every month since it debuted last December. The sales FreeShipping.org has generated for the brands on its site have doubled every month, too.

In May, FreeShipping.org helped create more than $250,000 in sales. Knowles expects to have more than 1,000 retailers offering free shipping deals on the site by year’s end.

“People respond more favorably to free shipping than a discount coupon,” Knowles said. “In many cases, the cost of an online purchase is more reasonable when an item is full price and there is free shipping compared to an item that is discounted but has shipping charges.”

Along with more cost-effective prices that can be found at brick and mortar stores, convenience is a major factor for online shopping, and free shipping further enhances the appeal.

“I’m a new mom, so I have little time to shop at a mall. I make most of my purchases online. I do most of my holiday shopping online, too,” said Maisie Knowles. “By creating a single site where consumers can find online retailers that offer free shipping deals, we are saving visitors time and money, which is something that interests everyone.”

No comments: