Following a similar move by Target, Best Buy is offering free shipping on most orders between now and Christmas, waiving its standard $35 minimum order threshold. At the same time Best Buy has expanded same-day delivery service from 33 U.S. markets to 40 markets through partner Deliv for an additional $5.99.
Late last month Target announced it is again offering free shipping with no order minimum from Nov. 1 through Dec. 23. Target has upped the ante with its ship-from-store program, as 1,400 of its 1,800 U.S. locations are now equipped to process online orders. Target CEO Brian Cornell told reporters that 48 hours will eventually be the company’s delivery standard, sounding a lot like Amazon Prime’s guarantee.
According to Best Buy’s website, there are some exceptions to the free shipping offer, including special orders, some scheduled delivery items and items displaying “In Store Only” or “Check Stores.” This is the third year in a row the company has offered free holiday season shipping.
For same-day delivery, orders can be placed with Best Buy up to 3 p.m. local time, and the item will arrive by 9 p.m. that night. The service is available seven days a week, although Sunday deadlines are an hour earlier.
According to Fortune, Target is also changing the cadence of its holiday promotional calendar, trying to avoid the specter of lost sales from “promotion fatigue” it experienced in 2016.
MCM Musings: Let the holiday free shipping sweepstakes begin! While Walmart has yet to announce a similar move – like Best Buy it has a $35 minimum on free shipping – it’s hard to imagine the retail giant not doing a “me too” move to follow Target and Best Buy. Major retailers will do all they can this season to try to keep more shoppers from defecting to Amazon, and free shipping is one of the stronger levers. Consumers, especially those under 40, love free AND fast shipping. But study after study shows they prefer the former when push comes to shove, and will sacrifice immediacy to save a few bucks.