Skip to main content

Almost all shoppers abandon an online purchase for this reason

A new survey reveals one issue that is near universal in its ability to disrupt online sales.

Nearly all (95%) surveyed consumers around the globe report they have abandoned a purchase in the past because a preferred delivery option, such as home delivery or the ability to ship to parcel lockers or parcel shops, wasn’t available, according to the Global Online Shopper Survey for 2023 and European Report from DHL.

This figure includes 96% of Canadian and 92% of U.S. respondents. In addition, 75% of global respondents and 72% of European respondents want the flexibility of ensuring their parcel is delivered to another safe place when they’re not at home.

Also, 62% of North American respondents want to know what delivery company handles their parcels before placing an order. More than one-third (35%) of these respondents would abandon their cart if they didn’t trust the delivery provider offered.

Globally, 70% of respondents say knowing about the delivery company is very important, and 43% would cancel an online purchase if they didn’t trust the delivery partner.

Social media shopping and subscription services

Seven out of ten respondents worldwide use social media for shopping inspiration. However, only 20% of North American respondents use social media for shopping, compared to 48% of European respondents.

More than four in 10 (43%) U.S. respondents have at least one subscription with an online retailer, with food as the most popular. About one-third (32%) of Canadian respondents have at least one subscription with an online retailer, with beauty as the most popular.

Across the globe, 36% of respondents have a subscription service to an online retailer. Beauty products are the top subscription retail product overall, followed by food and clothing.


The survey reveals that sustainability continues to be an important aspect for online shoppers, with caveats. Roughly six in 10 U.S. (62%) and Canadian (57%) respondents say that shopping online sustainably is important to them, but only 27% of U.S. respondents and 16% of Canadian respondents are willing to pay more for a green delivery.

However, 63% of Canadian and 58% of U.S. respondents are prepared to accept longer delivery times if that means that the delivery is more sustainable. Globally, more than 70% of respondents say that sustainability is important to them when they shop online, and almost half would be prepared to wait longer for their deliveries. But, given a choice, only 28% would pay more for a more sustainable delivery.

[Read more: Shoppers balance price with sustainability]

DHL eCommerce conducted the global survey across 13 global markets (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand, UAE and U.S.), in addition to 10 European countries, and involved 11,500 participants. The European survey of 5,000 consumers takes deeper dive into 10 European key markets (U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic and Austria).

Advertisement - article continues below
buy button with shopping cart
Online shoppers want delivery options.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds