Shipping plays a growing role in e-commerce success
More than half of online shoppers have stopped shopping with retailers due to a negative shipping experience, according to a new study.
The research from e-commerce SaaS platform provider BigCommerce examines survey responses for nearly 3,000 digital consumers and 800 online merchants to understand the role that shipping plays in the consumer purchase journey and how brands are adjusting operations to meet shifting expectations.
The study 'Shipping, Delivered: Best Practices & Expectations for 2019' reveals that while e-commerce and shipping have a symbiotic relationship, shipping often becomes an afterthought for online retailers.
For customers, however, a brand's shipping experience can carry just as much weight as the product it sells and how it is marketed to them. An alarming 77% of global survey respondents have abandoned an online purchase due to unsatisfactory shipping options, while 58% have actually stopped shopping with particular retailers altogether as a result of a negative shipping experience.
Among the report's key findings, the mass adoption of Amazon Prime's free two-day shipping, as well as similar efforts from big box retailers like Walmart and Target, have changed consumer expectations.
In the past 12 months, 84% of global survey respondents have made a purchase from an online retailer specifically because it offered free shipping, and half of the respondents said that they avoid shopping with retailers that do not offer delivery at no-cost.
From a generational viewpoint, nearly 90% of Millennial and 85% of Gen Z respondents indicated they have added items to their cart solely to hit a minimum order threshold for free shipping, with about one-third (33%) of Millennials admitting to doing this all the time.
In terms of sustainability, while consumers aren't currently too concerned about the effects e-commerce shipping has on the environment, they are open to making changes to ease some of the burden – as long as the change requires very little effort from them. 60% of global consumers already recycle packaging from an online shipment 'often' or 'almost always', and nearly one-third of consumers would be open to driving to a physical store to pick up an online shipment rather than have it delivered directly to their house.
"Retailers need to take into account a number of critical factors to make a meaningful difference in e-commerce shipping, and finally bring it to a level playing field with the rest of the e-commerce experience," says Jimmy Duvall, chief product officer at BigCommerce. "This new report provides merchants with valuable insight into consumers' shipping expectations, and best practices to create experiences that drive conversion and continued loyalty."