EXCLUSIVE: 72% of Consumers Cited Flexible Shipping & Returns as Key Motivator

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By Published On: March 15, 20190 Comments

A new study from Shippit and Manhattan Associates, '2019 State of Shipping: Consumer Online Shopping Preferences', has revealed what customers really want from their online delivery and returns experience.

After surveying key businesses under the Manhattan Associates helm, like Target, Country Road and Kathmandu, the two businesses concluded that what consumers want more than anything is flexibility.

“Shoppers are literally screaming for flexible deliveries, but only a minuscule number of retailers, globally can delight with customers through positive shipping experiences,” says Rob Hango-Zada, CEO and co-founder of Shippit.

From the research, Shippit found that 71 percent of shoppers would stop purchasing from an e-tailer if they didn’t have flexible return options. This includes offerings like a minimum 30-day return period and the option to return parcels to a physical store location. In fact, 84 percent of consumers are reportedly more likely to shop with a retailer if they offer in-store returns/exchanges.

A further 72 percent says they check whether retailers have flexible delivery options before making a purchase, which includes everything from home/office delivery, parcel pick-up lockers, click-and-collect and express delivery.

Not surprisingly, consumers also feel frustrated when products are out of stock, with 71 percent saying they would shop elsewhere over waiting for re-stocks.

When it comes to click-and-collect, Shippit says that consumers have a greater sense of urgency, with less than 30 percent of shoppers willing to wait three to five days to collect their goods. But, for the convenience of home delivery, 67 percent would happily wait three to five days for their order to arrive, especially if the delivery was free.

This is in-line with recent research from Power Retail, where the company’s insights team discovered that online shoppers expect the average delivery time to range between three and six days.

The thing that grates on customers’ nerves the most, however, is how often they check a store’s stock levels online, only to find the products are unavailable in-store when they arrive. According to Shippit’s findings, almost 70 percent of shoppers said this has happened to them at least 20 times.

“Retailers must rethink how shipping fits into their business model if they want to stay relevant – it’s more than a cost line on the P&L,” Hango-Zada concludes.

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