From October 22 through December 20, Target is offering free shipping on all merchandise.
The move increases pressure on other retailers to offer similar deals, especially since consumers are increasingly expecting low shipping costs. In fact, a Deloitte study found that 60 percent of online shoppers abandon the items in their shopping carts because of unforeseen shipping fees.
"We know shipping costs play a big role in online purchasing decisions," said Kathee Tesija, Target's executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. "We believe our free shipping offer will create excitement and incremental sales for Target."
Walmart is currently offering free shipping on all orders over $50, and Amazon provides complimentary two-day shipping through its Prime subscription program.
Two-thirds of Target customers already receive free shipping, either by using a Target payment card or by placing an order totaling $50 or more.
U.S. e-commerce sales were up 15.7 percent in the second quarter year-over-year, and all retail stores are now hustling to streamline their online platforms. Target has announced the free holiday shipping in hopes that customers will follow through with online transactions, leaving fewer carts abandoned and more products sold.
Target has also announced that it's revealing 35,000 new products for the holidays, including a greater array of Target-exclusive toys and products. Last quarter, Target's online sales increased 30 percent, and the retailer is hoping to gain even more traction through free shipping.
With retailers investing more in reducing shipping costs and times, it's important to choose a third-party logistics team you can trust to deliver when it matters. As we approach the holidays, take a look at your shipping systems to make sure your company is running efficiently.