We only have a few months until consumers start their holiday shopping. The more ambitious shoppers begin the hunt in late summer, and the rest join in by Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the “official” kickoff of holiday shopping. This means shipping volumes will be climbing for the rest of the year, and you’ll need a solid shipping strategy to stay ahead of the curve.
To ensure you’re as prepared as possible, take a look at the latest shipping statistics you need to know for the 2020 holiday season. Here’s a hint: It’s going to be busy.
Read on to learn more.
Modern consumers simply do not tolerate high shipping costs anymore. According to Statista research, high shipping costs are the primary reason US consumers over the age of 18 abandon their carts when shopping online. Simply put, online shoppers do not consider shipping to have a tangible value and, therefore, don’t want to pay for it.
Shoppers don’t just avoid businesses that charge too much for shipping. They flock to the brands that offer free shipping. In a recent study, 46.5% of small to mid-sized businesses dramatically increased their profits by implementing free shipping just because so many new customers wanted to take advantage of what they see as a great value.
Free shipping doesn’t have to be a profit eater. You can create a spending minimum that customers must reach before they can “unlock” free shipping. HubSpot research reveals that 24% of shoppers are willing to spend more so they can qualify for free shipping, so you’ll increase your average order value along the way. It’s a win-win.
Spending minimums aren’t the only way you can entice customers seeking free shipping. E-tailers can get creative and ask for email signups, a yearly or monthly fee for access to members-only perks or something similar. Customers are always on the lookout for free shipping, and 58% said they would take some sort of action to qualify for it.
The two most important factors for consumers deciding where to shop have to do with shipping. Free shipping is most important, but the second priority is hassle-free shipping. Third place goes to low-cost or free returns. This shows that customers value the post-purchase experience more than brand names or price tags, so e-tailers should act accordingly.
Researchers surveyed 1,888 US online shoppers to discover why they chose to not follow through with purchases, and the results were insightful. Of the respondents, 40% said they abandoned a purchase because it would take too long to arrive or would be delivered after the date they needed it. Another 20% said the delivery date was not precise, so they chose not to order after all.
Buy online, pick up in store (BOPUS) has grown increasingly popular in recent years, which has impacted shipping by increasing the volume of packages sent to brick-and-mortar stores or other pickup locations. Roughly 77% of ecommerce customers have sent their purchases to a physical store, and 13% of those utilized Amazon lockers to pick up items.
Ecommerce is advantageous to price-conscious shoppers because when they find a product online, there is probably another seller who lists it for cheaper. In many cases, marketplace sellers can offer the most competitive pricing and can afford fast, free shipping. This is the number one reason why shoppers frequent online marketplaces, but the other top reasons are related to shipping. They can get their orders delivered fast, and shipping is often free or discounted.
Seeing as Amazon is the largest ecommerce marketplace, it should be expected that three-quarters of consumers have shopped there to access low prices and favorable shipping. Of the shoppers interviewed, 55% of them have made purchases from different marketplaces like eBay, Wayfair and others.
Once holiday shopping gets underway, consumers will be on the hunt for two things: competitive prices and free shipping. This slightly differs from the rest of the year because pricing moves up the priority list and takes the place of free shipping. Surveyed consumers said these two factors are the most important when deciding where to do their online holiday shopping.
One major reason American consumers have grown accustomed to fast and free shipping is because one-third of them are Amazon Prime members. There are now 112 million consumers who have access to Amazon’s free two-day shipping and are used to that level of service. Other retailers have followed suit, so the service is no longer unique to Amazon. Its prevalence has only solidified consumer expectations.
Ecommerce is a $4.2 trillion industry, but there are still plenty of consumers who prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar stores. One reason is because in-store shopping doesn’t have shipping fees. According to Walker Sands research, 79% of US shoppers would be more likely to purchase from ecommerce sites if there was free shipping.
Speedy shipping is popular across generations, but younger consumers seek it out more than their older counterparts. (This makes sense, as Millennials and Gen Z grew up with the Internet and the instant gratification that comes with it.) It should come as no surprise that same-day shipping is the top purchase driver for US shoppers under age 25.
When shopping online, there is a wide range of delivery options—large retailers can deliver orders in a matter of hours, while smaller businesses may take a week or longer. These discrepancies result in only 15% of US consumers being satisfied with shipping speeds offered across the board. Compare this stat to their opinion of Amazon: 30% say that Amazon delivery speeds meet their expectations.
It’s rare for online shoppers to visit a website, add items to their shopping carts and make a purchase all at once. It takes time to nurture prospects and convince them to become customers because you first have to prove trustworthiness. Even after the purchase, it’s best practice to be transparent with customers and provide them with regular updates about their orders. Per Narvar, 83% of US shoppers expect these updates.
There is an element of surprise when shopping online because customers don’t actually get to try out the products before buying. However, one surprise shoppers definitely don’t want is when their orders are going to arrive. If they don’t know when their purchases are supposed to arrive, 53% will abandon their carts.
This holiday season, try offering same-day shipping to attract more customers—80% of them are looking for this service when they visit your website. Same-day shipping is not the same as same-day delivery, so it gives you a bit of breathing room while still standing out from the e-tailers who ship on their own schedule. Considering that Americans are spending 36% of their shopping budgets online, that is a large chunk of change you can secure by speeding up order fulfillment.
Ecommerce email marketing is one of the top strategies for building customer relationships, and in turn, subscribers get access to exclusive promotions and other “members only” offers. Clearance events and sales are the most popular offers consumers want to receive by email with 35% ranking this as their top choice. A close second, however, is free shipping with 20% of shoppers hoping for this offer in their inbox.
Visible Supply Chain Management offers a powerful array of shipping programs and services designed to help almost any shipper. Visible is the largest USPS Authorized Reseller and we have many programs to reduce your shipping costs. Our company also offers a national network of fulfillment warehouses, custom packaging, freight brokerage services, and industry-leading software partners. We give shippers an edge over the competition with better shipping on every front and help your business handle peak shipping season. Contact us today at 385-213-3470 to speak with one of our shipping and logistics experts.
Stop by our blog next week for more updates and info in Part 2 of Ecommerce Shipping Statistics to Know Before Peak Season.