The effects of the pandemic have transformed both the retail and online landscape. On the one hand, heConsumers have fundamentally changed their buying behavior. Many brick-and-mortar stores needed to adapt their business models and open up to an omnichannel approach. Online retailers have been faced with unprecedented demand. But the surge in online ordering not only posed a challenge for retailers, it also put delivery drivers in a tough spot. Only between July and September 2020, the parcel company DHL recorded a volume of packages of 1.3 billion. This represents an increase of 12% compared to the same period in 2019.
The last mile has been a bottleneck in online order fulfillment for a while. Additionally, COVID-19 has been another factor that has further intensified the challenge. Key factors that customers take into account to be satisfied are fast and convenient shipping. An international study recently published by Shopify reported that more than a third of online shoppers are frustrated when their package takes too long to reach their doorstep. But it’s not just the speed of delivery that matters to them. Many people also pay close attention to cost. This study reports that 23% of online consumers are equally frustrated when they have to pay more for delivery. However, a comparison of countries reveals that free shipping is not as important worldwide.
The countries that attribute the most relevance to a free shipping option when shopping online are Canada and the United States: 68%, respectively, 67% of consumers in both countries say that free shipping plays a crucial role in a positive experience. But Spain pursues them in a third place, being very close. With 66%, more than two thirds of Spanish consumers also attach great importance to free shipping of their online orders.
Japan, Italy, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Germany have a population of online consumers quite aware of free shipping. Between 56% and 60% in those countries agree with the statement that free delivery is crucial for a positive shopping experience. The only country in the ranking where less than half of shoppers consider free shipping important is India. A fact that clearly illustrates that today’s consumers set high standards when it comes to convenience when shopping online.