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Consumers want instant gratification

By Kate Lee | 05/04/2015 | 10:52 PM

Free shipping

As a consumer I have come to expect instant gratification at little to no cost.  I have come to expect free shipping and for my online purchases to be on my doorstep within two days of placing my order.  This expectation has been driven by companies such as Amazon and Zappos – two companies who deliver purchases to my doorstep seemingly minutes after I place an order and who offer free shipping (I am an Amazon Prime member).  According to the 2014 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study I am not alone in my expectations.

The study found that free shipping is the most preferred option (81%) when checking out online; however, other options such as learning the estimated delivery date and shipping costs early in the process are also important (63%) to consumers.

When it comes to free shipping, 93% of consumers take action in order to obtain free shipping.  Actions include: purchasing additional items so as to qualify for free shipping; choosing a slower transit time; and searching online for a promo code.

Leaving items behind

Consumers identified several reasons for abandoning items in their online shopping cart.  The majority of the reasons provided were related to shipping costs and delivery time.

UPS 1

Source: 2014 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study

Free and now

The study also looked at the number of days consumers are willing to wait for products to be delivered, and the role of free shipping on the delivery date.  The long and short of it is that consumers want their products now; however, they are willing to wait a little bit if they are able to get free shipping.

UPS 2

Source: 2014 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study

What are your expectations when it comes to shipping?

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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Kate Lee

Kate Lee

Kate Lee is the senior director of research and strategy for Fronetics Strategic Advisors, a Newburyport, Mass.-based consultancy that works with clients in industries including logistics and supply chain. She has over 20 years of domestic and international experience as a writer, researcher, and strategist.



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