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Two-day delivery no longer fast enough

Consumers globally are beginning to expect more from online retailers, with 53 per cent of respondents no longer considering two-day free shipping “fast”, according to new research.

The finding is from Pitney Bowes’ latest global e-commerce study, which found that 82 per cent of Australians prefer free shipping with a longer delivery time as opposed to having to pay for a shorter delivery window.

“If there is one finding for retailers to pay attention to, it’s this one: fast and free shipping is a must,” Pitney Bowes president of commerce services Lila Snyder said.

“While the retail industry invests millions of dollars in marketing to drive consumers to their e-commerce sites, all of that expense and effort is wasted if they don’t also invest in attractive fast and free shipping offers that meet customer expectations.”

Compared to last year, fewer Australian online shoppers made cross-border purchases in 2018 (81 per cent), while 12 percent of these shoppers made daily or weekly purchases, up from 11 per cent in 2017.

Australians also displayed the highest levels of cart abandonment (62 per cent) with the study citing longer delivery times and shipping costs.

High delivery cost was cited as the main reason for frustration according to 34 per cent of Australian respondents, higher than the global average of 23 per cent, while other issues ranged from receiving the wrong product, surprise fees or damaged packaging.

“As retailers, we need to work to our strengths and capitalise where there is a competitive advantage,” Cue chief information officer Shane Lenton said of the results.

“However, purchase is only the initial step in customer engagement and retailers need to double-down on other elements of consumer experience that matter the most – delivery, returns, tracking, localised payment options in both domestic and in cross border.”

Globally, fraud was the most common concern for retailers, with 42 per cent having seen more than 10 per cent of cross-border orders rejected due to fraud suspicions or detection.

Clothing, footwear and accessories remained the category most purchased from overseas for Australians.

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