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E‐Commerce » Trends, Tips & Facts | 16.03.2015

What delivery options are customers looking for?

According to an annual British e-commerce survey, two thirds of online customers cite delivery as a major factor in their decision making process, whilst 57% of people mentioned delivery issues as a reason for abandoning an online shopping basket. These results back up a wealth of other data that points to the huge importance of delivery, both in terms of building customer trust in e-commerce and in the individual success of online sellers. It's therefore increasingly important for businesses to establish high quality order fulfilment processes, and to partner with reliable domestic and international parcel companies.

Establishing that delivery is important is one thing, but how can online businesses capitalise on this information? What exactly is it that customers are looking for in a delivery service? The answer is more complex, with customers having different priorities depending on the situation and their own personal preferences. The key, therefore, is to offer choice. Giving customers a range of options means that businesses can cater effectively to their individual needs, and it also empowers the customer to make their own decisions about what's important to them.

Customers love free things, of course, and 43% report that free delivery is a reason they would become a repeat customer of an e-commerce site. Simply rolling your delivery charge into the price of each item is one approach, but this does risk pricing you above the competition on a direct product comparison. Instead, many online businesses opt for free delivery over a certain threshold. This maintains the 'free' headline, whilst encouraging higher spends to help to cover delivery costs.

Customers are sometimes prepared to pay extra for fast delivery, and if a retailer fails to offer this option the customer will simply go elsewhere. That's why more than two thirds of online businesses offer next day delivery. Nominated delivery, where the customer gets to choose a specific delivery date, is also becoming an increasingly popular way of fitting e-commerce deliveries around hectic lifestyles and special events.

Additionally, a huge 73% of online shoppers reported that the ability to track deliveries improves their confidence in online retailers. Uncertainty about the status of an order can quickly destroy customer trust.