Thursday, May 14, 2009

Free shipping

Just discovered Flipkart.com from the many comments left on the internet shopping post. Have ordered one book already and looking at more. And it's a very small reason. And perhaps therein lies a consumer behaviour story.

What I love about the site apart from the simple user interface is - you guessed it - free shipping for orders above 100 (and unless you are buying one Amar Chitra Katha or a magazine, no book is priced below 100).

Heres why: In general, I am not one of those people who will pick a book on impulse. I pick a book which I know is good and has been recommended by a few people I know or some reviewers I trust. Other than that, I am not the kind of guy who will spend hours browsing through a book store and pick up an interesting book. Why? Because books are quite expensive (and my time is precious). By and large, I read reviews on Amazon (and check with friends) before I pick up a book. So, going to a book store to just pick up one book is a drag on my weekend time (and money). Free shipping takes away the cost and time spent going to a book store (and associated expenses) and makes me buy exactly what I want to. Also, it makes the "discount" meaningful.

Does it say anywhere in the annals of consumer behaviour research (feel free to create a word) that people hate spending more than the actual cost of an item while buying it?

1 comment:

Prasanth said...

And the discount compared to a brick and mortar bookshop does help !!
For example, Narayan Murthy's new book is 499 in Odyssey here in Chennai but I can get it for much less with free shipping on flipkart.com