According to 247wallst.com, customers today tend to expect free shipping and returns when making purchases online, as evidenced by the fact that Amazon Prime, Wal-Mart, and now Apple offer this service.
Of course this is less likely to be the case with small and local companies, or when those companies are responsible for shipping art, antiques, or other large or valuable items. Still, what happens to consumer experience with major corporations affects their expectations at every level of commerce.
So even in the case of a company in Los Angeles shipping supplies or merchandise to local customers, the price of shipping might be the thing that determines whether those customers come back. More than ever, owners and managers have to carefully weigh the difference between cost and quality of shipping services. San Francisco boutiques and large-scale suppliers in Hollywood face the same calculation.
Everyone needs to look for the best value for their money, but consumer demands should never encourage business owners to cut corners. As much as buyers might want their shipping to be free, what they want more than anything is the guarantee that their purchase will arrive at their door on time and in perfect condition.