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When a retailer is deciding on the delivery offer to provide it is important to consider the needs and wants of US online shoppers and to recognise that any importing retailer is competing with domestic retailers already providing such services.

Research quoted in the passport suggests:

  • 54% are likely to take advantage of an email offer that involves free shipping
  • 40% have searched online for a free shipping promotion code
  • 52% have added items to their basket to qualify for free shipping while 45% abandoned their cart when their order did not qualify for free shipping


However, perhaps more important is to be up-front about shipping costs:

  • 59% consider it important to see shipping costs early in the process
  • 56% have abandoned their cart when the later addition of shipping costs made the order more expensive than expected, yet;
  • 57% have decided to pay the extra for shipping when the order still represents good value
  • 49% think that international retailers offer better prices
  • 43% can find things they cannot get from US retailers

An increasingly popular means of reducing or avoiding shipping costs is ‘collect from store’ with an increase of 8.5% in the proportion of shoppers who have used this over the previous 12 months – at 38%, up from 35%.


Obviously this last option is difficult for foreign merchants but the geography of the country means delivery time of 6–8 days depending on charge. This and the service offerings from many of the international service providers means that international merchants can compete with local businesses.


Finally, other areas worth considering are options around what happens if the customer isn’t available to receive the parcel and then returns; how can the international merchant service this important element of the distance-selling process.

Further information

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