‘Free’ Shipping Crowds Out Small Retailers

From the Wall Street Journal:

Ginger Greer, a Medford, Ore., attorney who does nearly all her shopping from work without leaving her desk, has drawn a line in the sand: “I absolutely refuse to pay for shipping,” she says.

The number of consumers who agree with her is rising quickly. More than half the past year’s orders from 30 of the biggest e-commerce merchants were shipped free of charge, compared with 33% two years ago, according to mystery shopper StellaService.

For online retailers who can afford it, free shipping is becoming a loss leader—the e-tailing equivalent of selling milk below cost to increase grocery-store traffic.

Source: ‘Free’ Shipping Crowds Out Small Retailers – WSJ