More Items Are Now Shipped With Amazon Prime Free Two-Day Shipping Than Free Super Saver Shipping

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Amazon.com Inc. announced today that the online retail giant now ships more items with Prime Free Two-Day Shipping than with Free Super Saver Shipping, an indication that many consumers are willing to pay for better service.

In 2005, Amazon launched Amazon Prime, offering customers all-you-can-eat Free Two-Day Shipping on one million items for only $79 per year. Since that time, Amazon has significantly increased the benefits of Prime – offering more than 15 million items and free video and e-book offerings. The company began in 2002 offering free shipping on orders more than $25.

In a press release, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos called Prime “the best bargain in the history of shopping.”

Consumers’ expectations have certainly been altered by Amazon’s ability to delivery orders swiftly. It’s not uncommon for orders to arrive in less than 24 hours.

Realizing this advantage, several companies are looking to compete with Amazon’s swift delivery. Ebay has started …

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To Celebrate it’s First Birthday, Park and Bond Offers Free Shipping

There’s no company without the customer, which is why STELLAService EXCELLENT rated Park & Bond, an up-and-coming menswear retailer, has decided to give back to its customers on the first anniversary of its founding. To celebrate its first birthday, customers will be able to take advantage of free shipping on all orders for a limited time only. Check out the site for more info and for a slideshow of highlights from the company’s first year.

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For Service, Staples.com Sticks to Its Motto

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Staples.com strives to make the shopping experience efficient and easy, offering user-friendly navigation and a responsive and knowledgeable support staff available to resolve any issues. Staples.com has flexible shipping options, and offers in-store returns or scheduled pick-ups for items that you wish to return.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself uttering their tag line, “That was easy,” after shopping at Staples.com. We certainly did.

The site has an organized layout and good navigation features, including the ability to view the site in other languages. Product information is simple to read through and customer reviews are helpful. Once customers have made a decision, checkout is a bit long but clear and straightforward.

Off-site, Staples maintains a giant social media presence, primarily through Twitter where @Staples has more than 200,000 followers.

Staples offers free shipping for all orders over $50 and standard two-day shipping that often arrives before …

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As Dollar General Marches Into Ecommerce, Keep an Eye on Customer Service

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If you’re a subscriber of this blog then you know by now – we are firm believers that price and product selection are converging for many online categories, and as a result the best way for an online business to differentiate is to provide an outstanding customer experience.

With the recent news that Dollar General is launching an ecommerce site, we’re obviously curious about the kind of customer service policies and practices we should expect from the discount retailer’s new online store. After all, it’s hard to find a better example of price convergence than the “dollar-store” category.

For starters, let’s look at one of Dollar General’s main competitors, Dollar Tree. While Dollar Tree offers 24/7 call support and free shipping for orders sent to a local Dollar Tree store, it doesn’t allow for returns (all sales are final).

Adding to our intrigue about Dollar General’s future online service is that it plans to …

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Leonisa Offers Excellent “Support”

Leonisa Product Page

I’m not sure how old I will be until I start feeling totally comfortable buying my undergarments in-person. I can only imagine how men must feel buying these kinds of presents!

It is no surprise then that VictoriasSecret.com has been the highest in sales for the Apparel/Accessories category the past two years, as ranked by Internet Retailer. Women need bras, and men know where they like to get them, thanks to the brand’s famous models featured in their free catalog and annual runway show.

However, there is a brand that really stands out for its customer service excellence. The Leonisa brand, which originates in Latin America, is the Ricky Martin Shakira Enrique Iglesias of over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders (or “sobre los hombros tenedor de rocas” – though that phrase isn’t quite as catchy in Spanish.)

Naturally, Leonisa.com is seamlessly navigable in both Spanish and English. Unsure if your flopper stoppers will fit? Use the return address label …

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When Companies Compete On Service

When companies first began selling their products on the web, customer service and e-commerce were almost totally incompatible. Retailers competed over prices and selection, but excellent customer service was the selling point of non-Internet vendors. Physical retailers, the conventional wisdom dictated, were better suited to handle patrons’ complaints, questions, and returns.

Flash forward fifteen years or so and the ballgame is changing once again. No longer are companies striving to best each other in choice or cost – those factors are practically the same across the web. Instead, internet retailers are competing more and more  for superior customer service. A recent study from the Forrester Group concludes that e-retailers now feel compelled to offer free shipping in order to remain competitive. These companies are coming to realize that free shipping policies are an excellent way to draw business and differentiate themselves. And when companies compete, buyers …

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Sophisticated Convenience

If you want to see amazing robotics at work look no further than the 2 minute clip below, which is a glimpse into the warehouse of…diapers.com? Believe it or not the site is an e-retail giant, expected to bring in more than $300 million in revenues this year selling baby supplies to busy parents throughout the country. The company has built a loyal following by providing excellent customer service, selection and free overnight shipping on most products. One of their impressive competitive advantages lies in the inventory management and packaging systems they designed and utilize:

 

 

Now the co-founders of the company have set their sites on bringing convenience to everyone (not just parents) with the planned launch of Soap.com this July. The site will carry more products than imaginable (25,000 at launch and 100,000 by the end of 2011), offering a plethora of daily essentials across numerous brands (read more here). Combining their expertise in shipping and inventory …

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