B&H Photo-Video launches a free shipping program
May 15, 2015 02:44 PM
B&H Photo-Video, No. 225 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, has upped its free shipping game.
The seller of cameras, photo accessories and other products has started to offer free “expedited” shipping for orders of more than $49. The new program replaces scattershot free shipping orders during holiday promotions, for specific items or “or on items that we had to give it away in order to stay competitive,” a spokeswoman for the retailer says. “It was very reactive versus being proactive.”
The retailer, which had offered free pickup in its New York store within 45 minutes for online orders, says web orders placed before 4 p.m. Eastern will ship that day for free. Depending on where the customer is in the United States, his order will arrive within one to three business days. “On top of that we have items that we run next-day delivery promotions on from time to time, and that is regardless of the customer location in the USA,” she says.
The new policy sends a clear message to consumers, the spokeswoman adds. The previous varying shipping policies made it “somewhat confusing for our customers,” she says. As well, when a customer makes a purchase they just can’t wait to hold that cool gadget in their hands, “so as always we listened to our customers and the customer response was” heavily in favor of a constant free shipping program.
The program applies only to shipments in the United States, though B&H serves customers outside the United States—the retail chain’s e-commerce site even includes a section devoted to shoppers in Brazil. “We have a very loyal international customer base that shops repeatedly at B&H, and while we can’t offer them free next-day shipping we constantly focus on finding ways to serve them faster and at lowest possible cost,” she says.
According to data found at Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com, the number of web merchants that offer free shipping has remained relatively stable over the last few years. In the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, 302 merchants report offering free shipping, down slightly from 307 for the previous year. In the Internet Retailer 2015 Second 500 Guide, 333 merchants report offering free shipping, up from 332 for the previous year.