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Hottest Trend in eCommerce: Alternate Shipping Options

Shipping is often the make it or break it portion of an ecommerce sale. Cost of shipping, length of time and delivery method all come into play. Amazon jumped ahead of the pack by offering free 2-day shipping with their Prime membership. BestBuy and other online / offline retailers allow you to buy online and then pick-up at the store. Amazon’s version of that is buy online and pick up via a locker at Staples.

Now we have ShopRunner, a third-party program that is all about getting your e-purchases delivered cheap, fast and safe with PickupPoints.

To prove the need, ShopRunner commissioned a study and found that 75% of Americans are concerned about having packages delivered to their homes.

Biggest worries?

52% said theft

Holiday Shopping: eCommerce Expectations Are High, mCommerce Not So Much

They say good things come to those who wait and retailers have waited long enough for a boost in sales! Looks like this might be the year.

Chase Paymentech talked to a variety of retailers and found that the majority (59%) of them expected 2012 sales to top those of 2011. They were also very optimistic about the percentage of sales coming in through online channels.

Now, I’d like to present my reward for the Short and Sweet Graphic of the Week. It goes to eMarketer!

Seriously folks, it doesn’t get more plain than that. eCommerce is on the rise but mCommerce is still barely a blip on the radar.

100 to 249 Dollars is the Mobile Spending Sweet Spot

Shopping with a mobile device is becoming almost as common as shopping online with a computer. And according to a new survey by JiWire it’s not just the number of shoppers that’s increased, the amount they’re willing to spend is also climbing fast.

Take a look at this chart:

At a quick glance, it’s kind of silly. I know people have concerns about mobile security but if a hacker is after your credit card it doesn’t matter if you’ve charged $10 or $1,000 dollars. But when you look at the psychology behind it, it makes total sense. There’s something frivolous about shopping via a mobile phone so it’s no big deal to toss $20 at something but when it comes to buying big ticket items, that’s a whole different story.

Sears and Kmart to Offer Amazon-like Free Shipping Membership

The guy who invents a transporter beam that instantly delivers any size package anywhere for free will rule the world.

Today, Sears and Kmart announced an upgrade to their Shop Your Way membership program that sounds incredibly familiar – free 2-day shipping on “mailable items” for $79 a year. I’ve always thought $79 was a lot to fork over ahead of time in order to get fast, free shipping but at least with Amazon, you get free movie downloads and ebooks as a bonus.

What’s Sears offering? How about double points on qualifying purchases. Every 1,000 points equals $1 off a future purchase, so it sweetens the pot a little. Then they add in the promise of all kinds of exclusive deals and bonus opportunities. In other words, they’ve turned shopping at Sears and Kmart into a game. The goal? See if you can earn back the $79 you spent without breaking your budget.

Paypal Offers Price Match and Free Return Shipping for the Holidays

At this time of year, it’s the little things that can help sway a shopper over to your side of the street. Paypal’s working that theory by offering not just an easy way to pay for gifts, but protection for purchase missteps.

Most of the hype surrounds their new offer to price match. Basically, if you pay for an item with Paypal and you find it cheaper within 30 days of the purchase, Paypal will refund the difference. There are restrictions. Door buster, one-day, limited quantity and close-out sales aren’t included. That pretty much covers most of what you’ll see on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

On the upside, Paypal’s price match is available for both online and offline sales. They’ll even price match NEW Buy it Now items on eBay. That’s huge. They’re also covering airline tickets within 7 days of purchase.

Republican Voters Spend More Online and Other Electoral Ecommerce Stats

While much of the world waits to see how voters in the red and blue states will respond once they hit the polls, Monetate has the answer to an even more important question — how much do they spend online?

Turns out that folks from the red states, the ones that traditionally vote Republican spend an average of $92.22 when they shop online beating the Democratic blue states ($91.62) and the Undecided purple states ($87.63).

This could have something to do with the fact that Romney supporters are also pro Mac. 24.31% of Republicans are using Apple computers compared to 17.63% of Obama supporters. Those guys are much more PC (so to speak).

Overwhelming Portion of Holiday Shoppers Will Start on One Device and Finish on Another

For several years now, we’ve been hearing about the impact of mobile on holiday shopping. But here’s a fact I’ve never heard before.

85% of shoppers will shop for a gift by starting on one device and finishing on another.

The information comes from the Adweek Google 2012 Digital Holidays survey and it’s all about the birth of the multi-screen holiday shopping season. Take a look at this slice from their delightful infographic:

Crazy stuff. And what’s funny is, I actually do these things but didn’t really think about it. I email myself from my iPad all the time. I did this just yesterday after I found a cool gift idea for my husband. Emailing is an inelegant solution to the problem but it works. A better solution is a direct connection between the tablet (or smartphone) and the computer. For example, I also used the Amazon app on my iPad to add items to my Wish List which my husband will later access from his computer.