We've talked before on this blog about how important free shipping is to the success of any e-commerce business, and time and time again it has been backed up by both business and consumer research. And now, to further reinforce the notion that free shipping is of the utmost importance to e-commerce companies, yet another study has found the very same.
This study, carried out by financial services corporation Morgan Stanley and their research group AlphaWise, surveyed a wide range of consumers, asking them questions about their preferences when it comes to e-commerce on all manner of subjects. The survey came to a number of interesting conclusions, but perhaps the most important concerned consumer preferences about shipping. Out of all the people surveyed, 80% of them stated that they would make more purchases online through e-commerce companies if they offered free shipping as a standard service. In addition, only 45% of people indicated that they would buy more products online if companies offered next- or same-day delivery services, whilst only 23% said that they would pay for faster shipping if they were given the option.
These statistics merely confirm things that many people in the e-commerce industry know already, but there were further questions that brought out some new, interesting points. Another question that the participants were asked is if they value free shipping above all other shipping options, like next- or same-day delivery - a whopping 62% said they did. Additionally, only 2.3% of people stated that same day delivery is the most important factor when choosing to buy products online. However, even with this small percentage, this still puts same day delivery in second place behind free shipping in the list of important factors when choosing where to shop online. This shows that customers still prefer free shipping over newer and faster order fulfilment and delivery services.
As well as looking into shipping preferences amongst customers, the survey also tackled the rise of mobile usage in e-commerce. It found that the percentage of users accessing e-commerce websites using a mobile device is up 3% on the last quarter at 23%.