What Does ‘Fast Shipping’ Mean in 2021?

Power Retail By Power Retail | 26 Mar 2021

As the global online industry continues to mature and develop, so do the expectations from shoppers, who are requesting speedier delivery times.

Although it may unsurprising, a new report from Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights has found that 68 percent of online consumers are more likely to purchase an item online if the retailer offers speedy shipping.

What Does Fast Shipping Actually Mean?

Fast shipping is a somewhat subjective thing, and its meaning has changed over the last few years. In pre-COVID times, this term could have spanned from two-day to next-day delivery. However, in this day and age, the term ‘fast shipping’ is getting faster and faster.

The report has found that one third (36 percent) of respondents ordered an item online and requested same-day delivery from a pureplay retailer (i.e. Amazon) in the last six months. This has increased 12 percent, compared to the 24 percent who ordered expedited shipping in August 2020.

Furthermore, 26 percent of online shoppers requested same-day delivery when ordering from an omnichannel retailer (i.e. Target or Best Buy) in the last six months. This number has also increased from the previous year, where 14 percent of shoppers preferred the speedier delivery times.

The report has found that ‘fast delivery’ no longer means delivered in two days or the next day – it is now all about same-day delivery.

Same-day delivery discussions for multiple categories experienced an uplift in 2020. As an example, in the US there was a 154 percent increase in ‘same-day delivery discussions’ for apparel retailers, 321 percent for consumer electronics and 44 percent for cosmetics and beauty retailers.

A Common Thread

It’s not just a US-based sentiment. According to Power Retail Switched On benchmarking data, 68 percent of Australian online consumers would abandon an online order if the delivery method is too slow, with 32 percent also likely to abandon a cart if there was no option to upgrade the speed of delivery.

In contrast, the majority of respondents (68 percent) said they wouldn’t abandon a cart if the option to upgrade to express shipping wasn’t available.

Interestingly, 30 percent of respondents said they would also abandon a cart f Click & Collect wasn’t offered. “This has been flagged in previous reports as growing in demand (especially post-pandemic) and has become an expected offering for almost a third of consumers, who will abandon cart when it is not offered,” Power Retail explained.

via Unsplash

Sixty-eight percent of Australian online consumers would abandon an order if the delivery method is too slow | via Unsplash

The Cart Abandonment Issue

Shipping costs remain the leading cause for shoppers to abandon an online cart and has been a continuous trend that Power Retail has recorded.

Although the online experience is tremendously improving for shoppers in a post-pandemic world, there is a general consensus that higher delivery charges are the number one reason why a shopper will abandon a site.

What can retailers take away from this? When it comes to reducing cart abandonment, there are some key issues that retailers need to fine-tune: cost and communication.

Even if 68 percent said they wouldn’t abandon a cart if there was no upgrade for express shipping, a whopping 84 percent said they would empty their cart if the cost of delivery was calculated too late in the shopping journey.

So, how can a retailer help reduce this level of cart abandonment? Shipping costs should be calculated on a product page before a customer can add the item to their cart.

Retailers need to understand their target audience and ensure that they’re meeting those expectations, especially as e-commerce becomes a prioritised channel for businesses in a post-pandemic world.

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