Free shipping the biggest enticement for consumers to shop online

Ware2Go Survey shows that many Americans plan on continuing to do most of their shopping online, even after pandemic restrictions ease

According to a new survey from Ware2Go, 79% of Americans increased their online shopping during the pandemic, and 89% plan to do as much or more of their shopping online in future, even as brick-and-mortar stores reopen. On top of this, 31% of respondents say they have an urge to spend now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing.

The top five things Americans are likely to come back into physical shops for are groceries as the top category, followed by clothing, cleaning products and furniture.

The research also notes that returns logistics will be important to consider. Although one in five Americans prefer to keep items they were unhappy with, instead of returning them, 44% were reliant on some form of airmail to handle their returns.

Focus on fast, free shipping

The survey results indicated that fast, free shipping was key for brand loyalty. When asked what retailers can do to entice them to shop more, 54% of Americans said free shipping. Other top answers included one- to two-day shipping (42%), loyalty points (42%), and in-store discounts (38%). Also, 80% are more likely to make a purchase online if the brand offers free shipping.

The enticement of fast shipping was showcased clearly: 75% are more likely to make a purchase if the brand offers shipping in two days or less, more than three-quarters (79%) say they are more likely to purchase from a brand again if the shipping was fast and 69% are more likely to click on an ad that offers fast, free shipping.

Despite supply chain issues during the pandemic, a third of Americans say this time raised their expectations for timely shipping, and 40% say it increased their expectations for free shipping. Although curb-side pickup boomed during the pandemic, most people only chose this option out of immediate necessity (54%) or if shipping was too expensive (40%). In fact, twice as many survey respondents preferred 1 one- to two-day shipping as preferred curb-side pickup.

Sustainability matters

When asked about what sustainable practices are most important in retailers, almost half (47%) said recycled packaging. A majority of Americans (88%) also said sustainability is an important consideration for purchasing decisions, and two-thirds (66%) said it has become more important as a result of the pandemic.

More than half (55%) of consumers are willing to pay extra for sustainable shipping, and two-thirds (66%) are more likely to purchase from a brand with carbon-neutral shipping if the product and shipping costs are the same.

“The pandemic pushed people to take more of their business and shopping online, and now that shoppers have had a taste of that convenience, the bar for merchants has again been raised to compete and win,” said Ware2Go CEO Steve Denton. “Our research shows that shipping speed directly impacts brand loyalty and that brands have an incentive to prioritize sustainability. I’m happy to say Ware2Go can help them with both.”

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