Nordstrom has begun offering free shipping on online purchases. Many shoppers… (Associated Press )
With more consumers turning online to shop, Nordstrom Inc. has begun offering a rare perk: free standard shipping for all online purchases and returns, regardless of how much buyers spend.
The upscale department store chain previously offered free shipping for online purchases of $200 or more, or through promotional offers. The new policy applies to Nordstrom.com orders shipped within the U.S. and to items sent back by customers.
Many shoppers and retail analysts say the cost of shipping is one of the biggest drawbacks of shopping online, along with not being able to handle products in person and having to wait for purchases to arrive.
"Free shipping is reflective of how customers increasingly want to shop online, and we hope this change makes it easier and more convenient to shop with us," said Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Direct.
Like many retailers, Seattle-based Nordstrom has focused its attention on improving its online shopping experience.
Other upgrades the chain has made recently include an enhanced mobile website launched in June for smartphone users, a "search by store" function on Nordstrom.com to enable customers to view available merchandise at nearby Nordstrom stores in real time, and shared inventory between the company's stores and its website.
Nordstrom shares rose $2.61, or 6.2%, to $44.70.