Shoprunner – Two Birds, One Stone.

US retailers may have found a solution to our recent Hot Topic, ‘Free Delivery – Is it Worth It?’ and a way to match competition from Amazon – via the launch of the ShopRunner loyalty program.

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.

ShopRunner is set to challenge Amazon Prime, by offering free returns.

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.

ShopRunner currently has 15 retailers on board, incuding Toys ‘R’ Us, GNC Live Well, Calvin Klein Underwear and NBA Store – with another 23 retailers still to come.

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?

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