Consumer expectations have changed dramatically in recent years, and customer loyalty is at an all-time low. 

People will simply seek out not only the best deal but also the most satisfying customer experience, so online retailers must do everything they can to remain competitive.  

Delivery service has a huge impact on the overall ecommerce customer experience.

According to Hayley Silver, Vice President of Bizrate Insights at Connexity:

As the demand for faster shipping intensifies, companies such as UPS and FedEx are raising their rates and the courier landscape is becoming more competitive with new sharing economy delivery services. 

Retailers will be increasingly challenged to provide quick, cost-effective, reliable and secure delivery solutions.

Connexity has just published some research involving 6,500 global shoppers, which found that delivery options and postage pricing significantly affect consumer buying habits in the run-up to Christmas.

If online retailers don’t offer competitive options for delivery during the holiday season they will lose out to rival sites. It’s that simple. 

In this post I’m going to delve into the Connexity research, which has been exclusively released to Econsultancy, and share some of the key insights around delivery service and its impact on Christmas ecommerce. 

Younger consumers want same-day delivery

Yes, we all hate the word 'millennials'. But rather than keep saying ‘people born roughly between the early 80s and noughties’ I’m just going to stick with the buzzword for now.

It comes as no surprise that the younger generation is more likely to want, or even expect, same-day delivery, given that during their lifetime such services have grown exponentially quicker and more convenient. 

30% of millennials say that same-day delivery is important when making an online purchasing decision, an expectation that Silver believes will increasingly become the norm.

With more shoppers, especially millennials, now opting for shipping clubs such as Amazon Prime, consumers’ expectations are evolving and the demand for short delivery windows - at a cheap price - may become the norm.

Amazon Prime Now now lets members have a parcel delivered within two hours of ordering for no additional cost. Or they can pay extra to get it within the hour. 

Amazon prime now same day delivery

That is the kind of service online retailers are competing with in 2015.

When such a significant portion of millennials see same-day delivery as important, any online retailer targeting that market should consider offering this service. 

Conversely, only 5% of senior consumers take the availability of same-day delivery into account when making an online purchasing decision. 

Sector matters

Of those buyers who have used same-day delivery in the past 12 months (10% of all online shoppers), 50% say they used the service because they needed the order immediately, while 29% did so because it was free-of-charge. 

Breaking the stats down further into retail categories, same-day delivery is most important for automotive and flower sites.

But 8% of shoppers in the toys and video games, automotive and food and drink sectors would consider abandoning their basket because same-day delivery wasn’t available.  

Cost more important than timing

While same-day delivery is important to some, the consensus across the board is that cost is the biggest deciding factor. 

74% of all online shoppers say their primary consideration is delivery cost. 

When you split this by age group, the trend increases with age. 69% of millennials say delivery cost is the primary factor while 80% of seniors say the same. 

Delivery timing, however, is seen as relatively unimportant. Only 26% of online shoppers view timing as the most important factor when making a buying decision. 

Conclusion: match your delivery options to your audience

This study shows that while there are some significant trends toward certain delivery options, these trends change significantly between different demographics. 

It all comes down to knowing your target audience and providing them with a relevant customer experience, perhaps even offering personalised delivery promotions in the run-up to Christmas if your site targets multiple age groups. 

Jack Simpson

Published 14 December, 2015 by Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (5)

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CINO at Fresh Relevance

Re: "Amazon Prime Now now lets members have a parcel delivered within two hours of ordering for no additional cost."

I think this may be US-only right now.

When I go here I don't see any UK postcodes (there's a space for them but it's empty):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/b/ref=pn_uk_surl_lp?node=6584642031

And when I go here I don't see one or two hour delivery in the options.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200202330

over 1 year ago

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CINO at Fresh Relevance

over 1 year ago

Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson, Writer at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@Pete - I tried our office post code on the Prime Now landing page (1st link) and it said it was available. I've got a feeling it's only in and around London at the moment but I could be wrong.

over 1 year ago

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Laura White, Trainee Digital Marketing Co-ordinator at GBG PLC

I'm a "millennial" and perhaps because I've worked in E-Commerce, but I don't expect same day delivery. In fact, I used to think people who rung us and expected same day delivery were a bit ridiculous!!

What I do want is the option for next day delivery obviously at a cost. Reasonably priced/free standard delivery and ideally an option for free click and collect.

Equally, I don't shop on Amazon so maybe that's why!!

over 1 year ago

Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson, Writer at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@Laura - nice to hear from someone on the other side. I'm also a 'millennial' (who also happens to hate that word) and I personally don't expect same-day delivery either.

But I think it's a case of once it's available in certain places people come to expect it elsewhere.

over 1 year ago

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