Free shipping and flexibility are key to global e-commerce, survey finds It's safe to say that delivery is now the main battleground in the war for e-commerce domination. As surveys find that customers are expecting faster, cheaper mailing services, and multinationals like Amazon begin to test delivery drones and roll out one and two hour delivery services across America, it's clear that the company that can ship items fastest and at the cheapest cost to the consumer will dominate the market. It's no surprise then that the second annual Pulse of the Online Shopper survey carried out by shipping giant UPS has found that free shipping and flexibility are key to making ecommerce work on a global scale.
The survey, carried out between the months of February and October in 2014, interviewed nearly 20,000 ecommerce consumers in 14 different countries across four continents. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results from the survey report that where a free shipping option is available, consumers are more likely to make the purchase. It also focused on the delivery location choices made by consumers. As we see more and more options available to consumers, like shipping to a pick-up point or retail store, the question really is whether they're using them. The survey found that in the UK, 68% of consumers still prefer home delivery, for the USA that figure rises to 74%. In Asia, however, the figures are much more balanced, with 55% using their home as the primary delivery location and 45% preferring pick-up. Some ecommerce shipping forecasters predict that the figures for the UK and America will start to balance out over the coming years.
Ashley Boggs, Senior Marketing Manager for UPS, said that Asian ecommerce consumers are more interested in having "alternatives like click and collect and pick-up locations" rather than home delivery. He also said that they're "ahead of the curve" in terms of delivery options. The survey also reported that consumers in Europe make more purchases by mobile than anywhere else, whilst Americans are using their tablets to make over half of their online purchases.
You can read the UPS report in full here.