Amazon raises free shipping minimums – what does that mean for others?
Effective Oct. 22, online retailer Amazon has raised the minimum order size required to get free shipping up to $35, a $10 hike from the $25 mark the company has observed for the past decade, Multichannel Merchant reported. The fact that Amazon – the largest Internet retailer in the world – has had to increase free shipping minimums should illustrate the challenges that still exist in terms of delivery.
Online merchants have turned to eCommerce software to help improve their order management processes, from quickly picking and processing orders to aligning distribution centers in order to get the goods to customers as fast as they can. Amazon in particular has been very innovative in this aspect, implementing same-day delivery in 10 major cities across the United States while offering one or two-day shipping elsewhere.
However, if even Amazon is struggling to maintain low free-shipping minimums, and that should speak volumes about the challenges that still exist in regard to distribution and delivery. Customers have come to expect low-cost – if not free – shipping from retails and prompt delivery times. This means merchants should always be on the lookout for new ways to drive costs down.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to approach the situation. If merchants' eCommerce platform doesn't extend to distribution and order management, or if it doesn't consolidate orders across all the major retail channels, they may want to consider upgrading or implementing new solutions. Check out this previous article that address some ways retailers can reduce shipping costs.
Additionally, entrepreneurs should remember they have a variety of options when it comes to shipping. The different providers all have strengths and weaknesses, and retailers can use this to their advantage to get the best rates while minimizing the cost to their budgets.