Hi! I'm Dane Carlson, and welcome to the Business Opportunities Weblog. I've been publishing this website, by myself, and sometimes with the help of others for over twelve years now. You'll notice two things about this site right away:

  • We have tons of content. In fact, since November 2011, I've published more than 26,000 posts on thousands of different business ideas and opportunities.
  • We don't sell much advertising. In late 2013, I realized that by selling advertising, what I was really selling was my readers. In 2014, I've already radically cut down on the number of ads and will hopefully keep cutting.

Online shopping is a convenient way for customers to seek out the best prices. But it is not as simple as one may think.

The consumer decision-making process consists of five stages:

  1. Need Recognition
  2. Information Search
  3. Evaluation of Alternatives
  4. Purchase Decision
  5. Purchase Evaluation

But what about the hidden costs of online shopping? How many of your customers make a purchase decision, accept the shopping cart total, only to close the web browser the moment they see the cost of shipping?

I know I do this on a regular basis, especially if the shipping cost is what I would consider inflated or unreasonable. Shipping isn’t something I enjoy paying for, because it doesn’t add anything of value to my order. I start the decision making process all over again, by reevaluating my “need” and searching for alternatives. I visit retailmenot.com seeking out free shipping coupon codes, google the product name + free shipping, or merely seek out a online store with a $5 flat shipping rate.

Many people feel that free shipping is a must in this economy:

In a recent comScore study, 72% of consumers said that if an e-commerce site eliminated free shipping, they would use another e-commerce site that did offer free shipping. Last week the LA Times reported that this year, nearly 80% of consumers said they were more likely to shop online with a retailer that offers free shipping, compared with 60% who said that last year.

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Originally posted by Angie Carlson on July 22, 2009 in Ideas.


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