Shoppers want free and fast delivery, says NRF

Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts on 21 January 2019
Shoppers want free and fast delivery, says NRF

A recent report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that shoppers are increasingly expecting free and fast delivery when buying online. Consumers are even willing to compromise in order to get it, for example by collecting their items in-store.

Consumer View is NRF’s quarterly report that showcases the latest in consumer behaviour and shopping trends. Its latest issue found that 75% of participants expect free delivery, even on orders under US$50, an increase from 68% in January 2018. Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) expect free shipping the most (88%), compared with 77% for Generation X (1965-1980), 61% for millennials (1981-1994) and 76% for Generation Z (1995 and later).

“Consumers want free delivery, and they’re willing to meet retailers halfway to get it,” said Mark Mathews, vice president for Research Development and Industry Analysis at NRF. “If we can get their purchase to the store, they’ll come pick it up if that’s what it takes to avoid a delivery charge. And once they’re in the store, they are very open to seeing what else the retailer has to offer.

As the realms of physical and digital shopping converge, retailers are offering more choices than ever in terms of how and when shoppers receive their purchases,” the report said. “And consumers are embracing these new fulfilment options – as long as they’re free.”

Many shoppers consider the delivery cost of items purchased online before getting to the checkout, with 65% of participants saying they specifically look up the thresholds for free-shipping before adding items to their baskets. Consumers also expect fast delivery, with 39% expecting two-day shipping to be free, and 29% having abandoned a purchase because two-day shipping wasn’t free.

The survey also found that 70% of shoppers who are aware of in-store pickups had tried it, with the main motivation to avoid paying for shipping. As collection options grow, 63% would like to use curb-side pickup (tried so far by only 27%), 56% would like items delivered to their cars (tried by 19%) and 50% want to be able to collect from a locker (tried by 16%).

Read the full report. 

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