Skip to main content

This delivery feature drives online purchase decisions

Consumers want free delivery more than fast delivery.

A new study reveals the top delivery-related factor that can make or break an online sale.

Forty-one percent of surveyed consumers say cost of delivery is the most important factor when buying online, up from 33% in 2022, according to “Protect Your Growth Strategy: the 2023 Consumer and Merchant Benchmark Report,” a global consumer and retailer survey conducted by Auctane, parent of ShipStation,

Six in 10 (61%) surveyed consumers say that they’re less likely to shop with a brand if shipping costs are high. On average, 34% of surveyed U.S. consumers expect packages to arrive in three to four days. Only 6% expect overnight delivery as the standard.

Meanwhile, 72% of surveyed U.S. retailers are looking to cut shipping costs in order to grow in 2023.

[Read more: Online shoppers won’t make a purchase without this offering…]

Consumers want easy returns

In addition, 44% of surveyed consumers say they’re less likely to shop with a brand if the returns process is difficult, and 81% believe returns should be free. Gen Z is the most likely respondent generation to be open to paying for returns.

More than four in 10 (42%) of surveyed consumers want tracking updates dailywhether or not the status of the order has changed. Two-thirds of surveyed retailers do not currently offer free returns.

Other findings

  • 57% of retailer respondents report that they only operate out of a single warehouse, and 30% plan to introduce warehouse automation this year.
  • Almost two in three (64%) surveyed U.S. consumers rank inflation as their biggest financial concern this year, and 66% plan to change their buying behaviors in 2023.
  • Close to one in four (23%) surveyed consumers say they expect to shop online more than they currently do to save and compare costs across multiple brands.

“This year, consumers have become more price conscious, and therefore selective with their shopping decisions,” said Sudha Chandrasekharan, senior VP and global GM of ShipStation. “The report highlights an urgent need for merchants to provide a phenomenal buying experience, from start to finish, to stand out to the modern consumer.”

Research was conducted by Retail Economics and Auctane. The report contains findings from a consumer panel survey conducted in November 2022, comprising over 8,000 households across the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. It also contains supplemental research from additional U.S. consumer and retailer surveys in early 2023.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds