Most retailers know that their customers want free shipping, but at what cost and are they willing to wait?

Prior the pandemic, consumers were focused on speed. Most stats told us that over half of consumers said a 2-day delivery options would entice them to choose that retailer, and a further 39% said that next-day delivery would make them purchase. With the pandemic altering the way consumers shop, more Americans are shopping online than ever before. Customer expectations for online shopping have also changed, with an increased demand for fast and low-cost (if not free) shipping.

While it’s obvious that both are important, which is the key to a positive online shopping experience – should shippers prioritize free or fast shipping?

Free Shipping Statistics

  • 66% of consumers expect free shipping on every purchase they make online [JungleScout]
  • 77% of consumers believe free shipping is the most important shipping-related option when shopping online [Walker Sands]
  • 80% expect free shipping when ordering a certain dollar amount on online products [JungleScout]
  • 77% of consumers believe free shipping is the most important shipping-related option when shopping online [Walker Sands]
  • Free shipping outranked fast shipping, confirming that the price tag for delivery matters more than the timing. [Tinuiti]
  • 78% of consumers are willing to buy more items in order to qualify for free shipping [Inmar Intelligence]
  • 87% of shoppers don’t mind waiting longer (5-7 days) to receive their purchase if it means they get free shipping [Inmar Intelligence]
  • 68% of online shoppers receive free shipping on at least half of their orders [Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights]
  • 57% of consumers desire fast, free delivery over discounts.[Coresight Research]

Fast Shipping Statistics

  • 91% of consumers expect to receive an online order within a week. [JungleScout]
  • 18% of consumers expect to receive what they’ve purchased the next day [JungleScout]
  • 9% of consumers expect to receive something they’ve purchased the same day [JungleScout]
  • 48% of shoppers expect deliveries to arrive in 2-3 days [Inmar Intelligence]
  • 39% of consumers believe same-day shipping is the most important shipping-related option when shopping online [Walker Sands]
  • 35% of consumers believe next-day shipping is the most important shipping-related option when shopping online [Walker Sands]
  • 20% of consumers believe two-hour (or less) shipping is the most important shipping-related option when shopping online [Walker Sands]
  • 19% of shoppers are willing to pay for shipping to get it fast [Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights]

Translating these statistics into a winning parcel shipping strategy

While it’s obvious that free shipping is important to offer, the most important insight to gather is that shippers want to have options, whether that be same day shipping, next day, or longer. Shoppers are willing to pay for the convenience of speed-related delivery services, so retailers must ensure they are offering them. Options like Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store (BOPIS) or Ship-from-Store (SFS) may be the closest that consumers can get to instant gratification because of supply chain disruptions or steep shipping costs that are associated with same-day shipping.

For a tried-and-true strategy that will not only delight customers but support your bottom-line, take a look at our Parcel Shipping Playbook. The experts at ProShip have put together a guide that breaks down the shipping challenges retailers have faced and gives a blueprint for overcoming them [Hint: it’s the  right parcel shipping program!]