Merchants are facing free delivery expectations brought on as a result of disruptors in the field and customers’ demands, says new research by National Retail Federation.
The report found that 75% of consumers surveyed expect delivery to be free even on orders under $50 (£38). That’s up from 68% a year ago. The quarterly report by NRF polled 3k US adults to understand their attitudes towards free delivery so that merchants can deliver upon shoppers’ ever-changing expectations.
When it comes to free delivery expectations across age groups, ‘baby boomers’ (born 1946-1964) want free shipping the most, with 88% of the age group expecting it. This follows by ‘generation x’ (1965-1980) at 77%, 61% for millennials (1981-1994) and 76% for Generation Z (1995 and later).
Free delivery priorities
It comes as no surprise that Etsy are encouraging sellers to offer free shipping, despite some Etsy sellers claiming that Etsy free shipping debate blackmails them into offering the service to stay on top the marketplace’s search rankings. Otherwise, they claim to be “penalised” by appearing lower in search results. Looking at the study’s findings it makes sense that Etsy wants their sellers to deliver upon customers’ expectations. Anything else would mean losing shoppers to competition.
Many consumers now consider shipping costs even before getting to the checkout page. Some 65% of consumers say that they look up free-shipping thresholds before adding items to their online shopping carts. Shoppers also want their products fast, with 39% expecting two-day shipping to be free, and 29% have backed out of a purchase because two-day shipping wasn’t free.
“Consumers want free delivery, and they’re willing to meet merchant halfway to get it. Merchants are offering more choices than ever in terms of how and when shoppers receive their purchases. And consumers are embracing these new fulfillment options – as long as they’re free.”
– Mark Mathews, vice president of research development and industry analysis, NRF