Amazon has introduced a new level of competition in fulfillment, putting retailers who can’t keep up at risk of losing customers. Consumers now expect two-day shipping as default. The average estimated days to delivery is 2.8 with packages arriving on average 0.85 days early. Furthermore, customers expect speed at a low or non-existent cost. Three of the top five reasons U.S. buyers cited for abandoning their carts were related to shipping costs, and half abandoned their cart because they did not qualify for free shipping. Brands are finding a middle ground. The majority (60%) of brands in L2’s Specialty Retail Index are moving towards standard rate shipping and nearly 70% offer free shipping for certain orders.

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Most brands (all except 1/5) have implemented uniform shipping rates. Of those Tory Burch charged the lowest fee in the Index ($4) while Baccarat, Tiffany’s and Tumi had the highest cost.

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