Friday, March 25, 2011

Why Mail Matters: L.L. Bean

On March 24th, L. L. Bean announced that it will offer free shipping on all shipments no matter how small.   L. L. Bean can afford to do this because many of its light weight shipments and delivered through the Postal Service either through a direct contract with the Postal Service or through a consolidator like FedEx's SmartPost or UPS SurePost

 L.L. Bean is not alone in offering free shipping.  Firms like use free shipping on specific items to shift customer demand toward certain items and away from others.  Landsend offers free shipping offers to e-mail subscirbers on a regular basis  Other firms require minimum purchases ranging from $25 for to $99 for Macy's.   The Postal Service is critical for these firms when they need to ship small or light-weight items as a means to control the total delived price to consumers.

L. L. Bean move is smart because web based consumers look at the not just the product price but the delivered price when purchasing.  By eliminating the shipping charge, customers know their full price up-front without having to look at their shopping cart or in some cases go through the process of filling out all shipping detail before getting the shipping charges.  

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