- Cape teacher accused of assaulting student at football game (10/23/16)41
- Police: Nurse assistant stole ring from patient's finger (10/27/16)10
- Pedestrian killed during traffic collision on I-55 (10/23/16)9
- One issue reveals Clinton's character (10/25/16)21
- Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter faces challenge from criminal investigator Wes Drury (10/21/16)10
- One victim IDs his attacker in shooting that killed woman (10/25/16)1
- Hundreds turn out for VintageNOW fundraiser (10/23/16)3
- R.P. Lumber chain buys Southeast Missouri Builders Supply in Cape (10/25/16)7
- Crews are working on the new Drury Hotel (10/21/16)4
- Cape teacher resigns after accusation of assaulting student at football game (10/26/16)11
E-tailers lure customers with discounts
Online holiday traffic might be surging, but e-tailers, like their brick and mortar counterparts, are working hard to turn cautious browsers into shoppers.
The big challenge for e-commerce sites -- many of which are aiming at profitability this holiday -- is to offer price discounts or free shipping deals without hurting earnings. That will be a particularly difficult feat because even when consumers are buying, they tend to spend less than they did a year ago.
Many online retailers have resurrected free shipping offers, which proved more effective in the past than marking down merchandise. But this season, they're not being as generous.
Luxury e-tailer Ashford.com, which provided unlimited free shipping last year, now offers it only for purchases of $1,000 or more. For Toysrus.com, it's $150, up from $100 a year ago.
Many e-tailers have decided to use heavier price discounting to woo consumers nervous about job security amid thousands of layoffs.
Two months ago, Amazon.com increased its everyday discounting to 30 percent off almost all books over $20. Bezos believes the company can afford the discounting because it has worked hard to increase operating efficiencies.