Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc. is making a bid for a larger share of Americans' e-commerce dollars with an offer of free shipping with no minimum order throughout the holiday shopping season.
The Minneapolis-based company will honor the deal from Oct. 25 through Jan. 2, 2016, for all items sold by and shipped from Best Buy, according to a Friday press release.
Omnichannel retailers often seek to attract customers with free shipping offers, but most companies defray the cost by setting a minimum purchase value or requiring buyers to pick up the merchandise from brick-and-mortar stores. Without setting such conditions, many retailers find their profit margin is quickly whittled away by the cost of processing returns or the shipping fees for delivering low-cost items such as a book or a baseball cap.
Best Buy may be able to afford a free shipping offer because it specializes in selling high-value electronics such as tablet PCs, high-end headphones, and television sets.
The top technology gifts for 2015 include the Apple iPad tablet, Bose QuietComfort 25 noise-cancelling headphones, and the Apple MacBook laptop computer, according to a recent survey commissioned by Best Buy. The study, performed by Plano, Texas, market-research firm Research Now Group Inc., asked respondents to list the top technology items they plan to give (and hope to receive) this holiday season.
Another finding of the survey was that special deals drive self-gifting. Nearly 85 percent of consumers take advantage of sales or price discounts during the holiday season to make additional nongift purchases for themselves or their families, Best Buy said.
That motivation for customers to buy additional items while shopping for gifts may also help explain why the company is investing in the free-shipping promotion.
See the full list of top tech gifts for 2015.