Some of the biggest online retailers offer free shipping tied to a “minimum order” total. Amazon, for example, will ship for free only if your order is $35 or more. Walmart’s minimum is even higher, at $50.
It appears Target spotted an opportunity to steal some business — the company just dropped its own minimum for free shipping to $25. So if you’re the type that only buys smaller items, you may wind up qualifying for free shipping through Target, where you might not through another online store.
I’ll be the first to tell you that the shopping experience on Target’s website isn’t always great. Items that I’m able to find in other places aren’t reliably in stock, and if something is in high demand (say, a new gadget), you can be pretty sure that Target will run out before every other store.
Target is also missing a Prime-like loyalty program. Sure, Amazon’s subscription service costs $99 a year, but you get a whole lot of other perks along with the free two-day shipping. Knowing I can order something that’ll arrive the day after tomorrow? That’s nice. Target says your item will arrive in three-to-five days, which isn’t bad. But it isn’t two.
I don’t mean to knock Target. I’m certainly glad the company is doing a little more to compete with Amazon and Walmart. For those who don’t subscribe to Prime (or don’t have one of the ten bajillion Walmart stores in their backyard), Target is probably a very appealing option now. But I don’t know if dropping the minimum for free shipping will be enough to move the needle.
What do you think? Will you start using the Target website a bit more now that you can get free shipping with less expensive orders? Or will you stick to the other big online retailers? Drop us a line with your thoughts.