The recently launched ShopRunner program, demonstrates how US retailers are working together in order to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ (so-to-speak) in offering free delivery and combating the ever-growing threat to their bottom lines from Amazon.
The program, which costs USD$79 annually, allows members to shop directly through its website or through the individual retailer sites. The program offers special deals and discounts, can be used by up to four members of the household and has no minimum order size.
However, what is tipped to be the major draw card of the program is that it offers free 2-day shipping on purchased products and free returns from all ShopRunner retailers – which the Wall Street Journal reports ‘one ups’ similar program Amazon Prime, that does not offer free returns.
“It’s amazing what people will do when they recognise there is a bigger threat to their model of retail than just competing with each other,” said Fiona Dias, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for GSI Commerce Inc., the e-commerce service provider that owns ShopRunner.
Could this be a model that Australian retailers will replicate in order to regain online spend from international counterparts and resolve the eternal quandary of whether or not to offer free delivery?