Speedy shipping a core driver of online sales, finds study
Same-day or next-day shipping has become one of the biggest drivers of online sales according to new research.
ChannelAdvisor commissioned Dynata to quiz 6000 people in six countries, including 1000 in Australia about their online shopping habits. The result: 73 per cent of consumers prioritise delivery in fewer than two days when buying online.
Gordana Redzovski, MD Apac at ChannelAdvisor’s parent CommerceHub, said the result shows retailers who are lagging on speedy delivery options need to reprioritise.
“The popularity of near-instant shipping from Amazon has fundamentally shifted consumer expectations around convenience. Quick logistics is no longer a nice-to-have but a baseline necessity that shoppers expect.”
The study also found that few consumers are willing to pay for returns with 54 per cent saying they felt it was “unfair” to be charged for returning something bought online. Furthermore, 65 per cent said they would only buy from sites that offer free returns, and the same percentage said they had given up on returning an item if it was too time-consuming or complicated.
“The impact of the returns process is also underappreciated,” said Redzovski. “With two-thirds of consumers now insisting on buying from sites that offer free returns, brands must consider their approach. Retailers need to find a balance between satisfying consumer demands and profitability.
“Having a complex returns process may stop some from completing the return, which is good for the sale, but ultimately bad for the relationship with the customer,” he continued.
“As we enter peak season, a period typically associated with increased promotions to drive sales and as such a higher number of returns, retailers should monitor the effectiveness of promotions and the impact on returns processing.”
The survey also found that 60 per cent considered a click-and-collect option as an important factor when buying online.
“The growing trend of omnichannel shopping is becoming more appealing for consumers. Failing to provide these services could put online sellers at a disadvantage among their competitors,” he said.
“To remain relevant and gain an edge, brands and retailers must fully embrace a fast, flexible and consumer-centric approach.”
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, 98 per cent of shoppers said price was the ultimate decision driver when buying online.