There is no such thing as free shipping.Even so, Amazon.com and other online retailers who use so-called free delivery to cultivate customer loyalty are scrambling to keep it from draining profits as costs climb and e-commerce contracts.
They are adding fees for faster service, raising minimum purchase requirements and making other changes that shift more costs to consumers who are struggling with financial issues of their own.
“The days of free delivery are numbered,” Ken Morris, managing partner at Cambridge Retail Advisors, said.
Retailers are beginning to look more like some airlines, which charge for better seating, transporting luggage and also restrict use of frequent flyer points, Morris said.
Product inflation and soaring shipping costs are making the service unsustainable as the prospect of recession threatens to wallop already-flagging online spending.
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