Australia Post’s subscription-based shipping platform, Shipster, is closing after a failure to attract critical mass attention.
Shipster launched in October 2017, offering ‘free’ shipping to those who subscribed to the service. Partnered with 70 retailers including Myer, Target, Harvey Norman and Booktopia, the platform is no longer accepting new members.
The announcement was made on the Australia Post website, and will reportedly cease operations on July 31st, 2019. “Whilst Shipster is popular with the participating subscribers and merchants, it is now clear that it will not reach the critical mass required for it to be self-sustaining,” the statement read. “For this reason, we have taken the decision to close Shipster over the coming months.”
Although new members will not be accepted into the program, existing subscribers can still use the platform until the end of the operation. Anyone who has paid for a subscription will receive a pro-rata refund for the remaining months left in the package from May.
Shipster was launched in 2017 with hopes to aid the delivery turnaround for Amazon Prime. The monthly fee was $6.95, accumulating to $83.40 annually, and allowed shoppers to gain access to free shipping when they spent more than $25 on participating websites.
Despite the size of AusPost, the shipping platform’s subscription fee proved too low to sustain itself and ultimately failed to reach its goal of 100 retailers as partners. As the e-commerce industry grows and develops, Shipster’s offer was slumped by other retailers offering their own shipping subscription services. “Free shipping is now more commonplace, and customer expectations have also changed,” said a spokesperson at Australia Post. “Based on this we’ve made a decision to close out the Shipster program on July 31 and focus our innovation investment on developing new products and services to meet the ever-evolving needs of Australian online shoppers.”
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