What Consumers Really Think About Shipping

October 17, 2019

Ecommerce is booming now more than ever. In fact, there are expected to be over two billion online buyers by 2021. It’s an entirely different world out there for retailers; one where shipping logistics strategies can make or break an entire brand. 

Thanks to ecommerce giants like Amazon, it’s now easier than ever to have products delivered straight to your door in a matter of days — completely restructuring the landscape of consumer expectations for the supply chain. Now, shipping experiences can be the differentiator between success and failure for your ecommerce business; it’s the final touchpoint a customer has with your brand. So how do you make that an opportunity to use shipping to your advantage?

To answer that question, we conducted a study on consumers’ attitudes toward shipping; specifically, taking a look at the direct impact a positive or negative shipping experience has on key brand metrics (like customer satisfaction, brand perception, and loyalty), and where consumers ultimately place the responsibility of shipping errors and returns. What we found can and will have a direct impact on your business’ bottom line this shopping season: 

Consumer Expectations Are On The Rise

Customer shipping expectations are rising with the times. 7 out of 10 shoppers consider shipping speed and cost more today than they did just one year ago, and the percentage is even higher among younger shoppers (with Millennials 14% more likely to say the influence of shipping speed has increased in the last year). As a result, shipping plays a pivotal role in purchase decisions:

  • 96% of consumers factor shipping into their purchase decision shopping online
  • 89% consider shipping speed when making an online purchase decision
  • 94% take shipping cost into consideration when making an online purchase decision

Last Touch = A Lasting Impression

We found that shipping experiences have an influence on both single-purchases and long-term loyalty, with 88% saying that it directly impacts whether they will be a repeat customer. And unfortunately, for brands that can’t deliver, there’s a lot at risk. We found that when it comes to negative shipping experiences: 

  • 90% say it negatively impacts their perception of the retailer 
  • 88% say negative shipping experiences make them less likely to purchase from that retailer again in the future

Download your own copy of our “Last Touch, Lasting Impression” ebook that dives into what makes shipping so important to customers.

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Fast Vs. Free Shipping Remains a Debate

While consumers unanimously agree upon the importance of the shipping experience, the old “fast vs. free” debate remains at a stalemate. Our data shows that nearly 70% of consumers prefer waiting longer for their delivery to avoid paying for shipping, but that some shoppers actually prefer speed. Millennials, for example, are 65% more likely to say they would rather pay and get their items faster (with men 31% more likely to do so). However, we found common ground in the fact that 76% agreed they’re more willing to pay for shipping if its a gift for someone else. This is a crucial point, especially as the holiday season creeps up on retailers. 

In closing, shipping is critical to retail success. Your shipping strategies directly impact consumer satisfaction and their decision to purchase again in the future. 

To learn more, check out our full ebook on the study, which includes additional data points on ways retailers can level-up their shipping strategies.

Last Touch, Lasting Impact