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Shoppers will pay more to avoid shipping costs, study finds

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Online shoppers want free shipping — and the ability to track packages, the study finds.

Holiday shoppers are willing to spend more online to qualify for free shipping, a new study has found.

Sixty percent of shoppers say they’ve increased their spending to meet free shipping thresholds, according to the research by mailing services company Pitney Bowes Inc.

The results also show online consumers prefer choices when it comes to shipping and returns.

“Options are no longer a privilege during the shopping experience. This holiday season, consumers will expect the ability to choose their preference,” said Christoph Stehmann, a Pitney Bowes digital commerce executive.

The study underscores the growing importance of online shopping to the shipping industry — especially during the holidays. The Postal Service alone delivered 524 million packages last December, a sharp rise from the previous year.

Other highlights from Pitney Bowes’ research: 68 percent of holiday shoppers use promotional codes to qualify for free shipping, 38 percent want to be able to return merchandise via a shipping provider, and 20 percent like to have providers pick up their returns.

Tracking also is a must: 98 percent of holiday shoppers want to track packages this year, up 23 percent from last year’s study.

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