Best Buy to offer free holiday shipping
Best Buy has not yet released its plans for Thanksgiving, Black Friday or online holiday sales, but Best Black Friday expects it to fall in line with last year’s sale — which began at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, ended at 1 a.m. on Friday, then reopened on 8 a.m. Friday morning for more doorbusters. Best Buy did not immediately return a request from Retail Dive for more details.
Meanwhile, on Nov. 19, GameStop is poised to debut a new rental program called Power Pass, according to Gamerant. For $60 gamers gain access, for six months, to the retailer’s selection of pre-owned games, with the option to come back and swap it for another or keep it.
Nearly all holiday shoppers (94%) are looking for free shipping options this season, according to the annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation. Nearly half will take advantage of conveniences like buy online, pickup in store (49%), while 19% will take advantage of expedited shipping and 12% will use same-day delivery, the NRF also found.
Similarly, CPC Strategy earlier this year found that holiday shoppers expect free and fast delivery. Nearly half (46.1%) of shoppers told CPC Strategy that overall price, including shipping, is the most important reason to buy their holiday gifts from a particular retailer. To Gen Z and younger millennial consumers, free shipping is not merely an expectation, it’s also an assumption, CPC Strategy noted. "We’re seeing the impact of Amazon in nearly every answer, but particularly in expectations for low prices and fast, free shipping," according to that report. "The bottom line? If retailers aren't selling on Amazon, they'll need to offer a shopping experience that proves they know their customers better than the retail giant."
Best Buy in recent years has responded to that call. The electronics retailer was among the first to conquer ship-from-store fulfillment, which the company has said has helped to cut costs and speed up deliveries. And while the electronics retailer in the past has been out early with both its holiday shipping policy (and its holiday top tech list), more retailers are expected to come out with their own free shipping offers in order to beat the cacophony of promotions that pile up in the weeks head to Thanksgiving.
Amid the frenzy for same-day delivery (for the most part, an expensive option largely limited to big cities), it can be difficult to remember that shoppers prefer free or low-cost shipping at slower speeds. That’s especially true at the holidays, when consumers must stretch their budgets to purchase gifts and host parties.
- Best Black Friday blog Best Buy will offer free shipping on all orders with no minimum from 10/29/17–12/25/17.
- Game Rant GameStop Set to Launch Game Rental Program
Follow Daphne Howland on Twitter