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In the Retail Shipping Wars, Fast Could Weigh Out Over Free

When it comes to fast shipping, modern consumers have been conditioned to expect a lot from retailers.

In fact, a whopping 78 percent of shoppers say their experiences with Amazon have raised their expectations for all types of retail deliveries, according to a study from last mile delivery management software provider Onfleet.

While the results would seem to lean heavily in Amazon’s favor, the 1000-person survey also revealed that a near-equal number of consumers (76 percent) would prefer to order household items from other local businesses if they could deliver the goods the same day.

“We expected to hear that Amazon’s convenience has raised consumers’ delivery expectations across the board, but we were surprised that the majority of consumers would prefer to shop locally,” said Khaled Naim, Onfleet co-founder and CEO.

“This data shows that brick-and-mortar retailers that add same-day delivery in their markets, and offer a good delivery experience to their customers, are likely to draw shoppers away from Amazon and other online options,” he said.

The vast majority of respondents (78 percent) also said they would be more likely to order from local stores that provide accurate ETAs and delivery updates. Amazon’s revolutionary service has set a high bar for consumers, who expect not just expediency and convenience, but the assurance that their goods will be delivered on time.

While shoppers undoubtedly love that their annual Amazon Prime memberships buy them a whole year of one to two-day shipping on an unlimited number of orders, more than half of Onfleet’s survey respondents (54 percent) said they would be willing to pay local retailers for same-day delivery. The data suggests that fast can weigh out over free when it comes to the quality consumers value most in their deliveries.

As shoppers head into the holiday season, they are likely to be even more concerned with the timeliness of their deliveries. According to a report released last month by logistics firm Convey, speed has the potential to be the deciding factor for consumers when looking for online conversions. More than a quarter (28.6 percent) of respondents said they would be more likely to buy an item if it could be delivered within a week.

While three out of every five consumers said the price of shipping was still the most important factor when choosing a delivery method, they also cited package safety and lack of delays as major factors in their online purchasing decisions for holiday-related products and gifts.

With the threat of porch piracy ramping up as the season for giving approaches, Convey’s report also revealed that tracking capabilities are very important to online consumers. The majority (66.5 percent) of shoppers said the ability to follow their packages’ journey is key during the holiday season.

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