From over 40 Australian retailers.

This Christmas, over 40 of Australia’s online stores, including Harvey Norman, Myer and Target will offer consumers in metropolitan Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, free shipping on eligible purchases from now until January 1, 2018.

When consumers join a new membership program powered by Australia Post, Shipster, for $9.95, they will receive free shipping whenever they spend $25 or more at participating stores. Shipping costs will automatically be deducted at the checkout.

Australia Post acting managing director and group CEO, Christine Corbett said, “We know our customers love to shop online and this Christmas we expect more gifts to be bought online than ever before. Shipster lets consumers shop with confidence knowing that there will be no surprises at the checkout.”

Following the introductory period, Shipster membership will cost $6.95 per month and continue to allow customers to receive free delivery where shipping costs less than $20.

The National Retail Association (NRA) welcomed the new shipping membership program as a crucial move toward helping Australian businesses keep up with a rapidly-changing consumer market.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said while innovative retailers were constantly changing up their business models to keep step with consumer demand and a changing social environment, they still had to factor in ways to deal with cost imposts outside their control.

“Out-of-date legislation, costly red tape, unsustainable penalty rates and unnecessary compliance costs trickle down into higher prices to consumers, so any move that gives customers the opportunity to significantly reduce their shipping costs is a welcome one,” Lamb said.

“Retailers understand that convenience, speed, value and experience are crucial for attracting modern consumers, so we welcome any initiative that strengthens these offerings.

“The world has moved on from bricks Vs clicks to a full omni-channel approach, so something as simple as cutting out the hefty shipping fee that comes on the end of a purchase allows our retailers to leverage technology to enrich their offerings and strengthen brand loyalty.

“We would like to see this initiative rolled out nation-wide and further offers moving forward, to help Australian retailers remain competitive and continue to merge into true, omni-channel brands,” she said.