TECHNOLOGY

What delivery options do e-commerce customers prefer?

BY Dan Berthiaume

A new study of North American consumers reveals their delivery expectations.

The “2018 State of E-commerce Delivery Report,” a survey of more than 1,000 consumers of varying ages in the U.S. and Canada from delivery services platform provider MetaPack, examines how online shopping behaviors and preferences affect delivery. Results indicate a strong interest in online luxury retail – 91% of U.S. consumers and 82% of Canadian consumers had purchased online goods from a luxury brand in the last 12 months.

U.S. consumers in particular appear highly enthusiastic about engaging with luxury brands online, as over a quarter (27%) had shopped with 10 or more luxury brands in the past year. Around one-third of consumers (32% U.S., 39% Canada) had shopped online with between four and nine luxury brands.

Home delivery was the top preference for 38% of U.S. and 32% of Canadian shoppers making a luxury purchase. Asked to compare delivery of their luxury item compared to other ordinary online purchases, 72% of U.S. shoppers said it felt more secure; 62% said it was more controllable and trackable; and 56% said there was a greater level of personal care.

However, 24% of Canadian shoppers said there was no discernible difference and were less impressed with their luxury item deliveries compared to their U.S. counterparts: 45% said it felt more secure; 35% said there was greater control or trackability; and 27% experienced a greater level of personal care.

The study also shows that consumers view try-before-you-buy options as making e-commerce more convenient:
• 72% of U.S. and 71% of Canadian respondents say the convenience of try-before-you-buy is appealing.
• 73% of U.S. and 67% of Canadian shoppers say try-before-you-buy is all about flexible customer service.
• 45% of U.S. and 33% of Canadian consumers anticipate try-before-you-buy would reduce delivery costs on their online orders.
• While 54% of U.S. consumers would pay more for a try-before-you-buy service, just 41% of Canadian shoppers would do so.

Other notable findings include:
• 56% of U.S. and 45% of Canadian shoppers collected their purchases in store.
• 23% of U.S. and 27% of Canadian consumers have used a local pick-up point or shop. However, 40% of Canadian respondents plan to take advantage of this, while delivery to a secure box outside their home held a strong appeal for 35% of U.S. respondents.
• 27% of U.S. and 17% of Canadian shoppers have selected weekend delivery.
• Over a quarter (26%) of U.S. and 18% of Canadian shoppers have taken advantage of same-day delivery where this option was available to them, while 17% of US respondents have used a one-hour delivery option.
• 81% of U.S. and 69% of Canadian respondents expect to pay extra for a one-hour, same day, next day or Sunday delivery.
• 20% of consumers in the U.S. and 21% in Canada have scheduled deliveries to their place of work.
• 30% of U.S. shoppers say they would be willing to try out futuristic options like delivery by drone, robots or autonomous vehicles.

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