How delivery and returns impact online shopping

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Online shoppers want positive delivery and returns offerings.

An e-commerce retailer’s delivery and returns experience has a lot to do with whether customers will shop them.

A new survey of 1,000 online shoppers from digital logistics platform Veho,” Shipping is the New Shopping: The 2023 State of Delivery and Returns Satisfaction,” reveals that more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents are less likely to buy from a brand following a negative delivery experience.

A similar percentage (74%) of respondents said a strict return policy negatively impacts their desire to shop with a retailer, and more than half (53%) said brands and delivery companies are responsible for negative delivery experiences. Nearly half (49%) said they would be more likely to shop with a brand that allows customers to make doorstep returns with no packaging or printed label required.

“Even with the rise in online shopping brought on by the pandemic, shipping and returns are still a real pain point for consumers in 2023,” said Itamar Zur, CEO and co-founder of Veho. “At Veho, we recognize the post-purchase experience as the next great frontier for e-commerce. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to helping brands implement seamless delivery and return policies that can help build a new model of customer lifetime value in the places where shoppers actually want to engage: the digital world, and their own homes and front doors.”

Veho surveyed 1,000 online shoppers in February 2023 in partnership with OnePulse. Respondents were composed of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults aged 18 to 64. Respondents were asked three multiple-choice questions about their shopping, delivery, and returns preferences. Then, 500 of those respondents were asked two follow-up questions.

This delivery feature drives online purchases

Forty-one percent of consumers recently surveyed by Auctane, parent of ShipStation, said the 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.”

Six in 10 (61%) surveyed consumers said 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.

In addition, 44% of respondents to the Auctane survey said they’re less likely to shop with a brand if the returns process is difficult, and 81% believe returns should be free.

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