US consumers will continue to buy big in 2021 as oversized e-commerce spend stays strong
After a bumper year in 2020, the likelihood for Americans to order their bulky items online remains strong in 2021
Forty-five percent of Americans who purchased oversized items online in 2020 say they are very or somewhat likely to continue buying large items online once pandemic restrictions end, finds a new study from uShip a logistics technology platform for large and bulky goods. In comparison, just 16% say they are very or somewhat unlikely to continue buying large items online, and 39% are neither likely nor unlikely to do so.
During the pandemic, 64% of Americans purchased oversized items online. These included furniture, mattresses, and exercise equipment. Of that number, nearly three quarters (73%) purchased these items online at the same or higher frequency than years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is just one example of how e-commerce has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Online shopping sales hit $791.70 billion in 2020, up 32.4% from $598.02 billion in 2019, according to Commerce Department figures.
Customer expectations are also rising, however. The uShip survey (conducted by YouGov) also revealed that 53% of US adults who buy large and bulky items online are comfortable with their items arriving between 8 and 21 days. Meanwhile, 37% expected their items in less than seven days.
Shipment status and communication is also ‘very important’ to 57% of Americans, and one of the major drivers in converting a customer into a repeat buyer. Also 51% and 50%, respectively, said delivery speed and carrier professionalism were ‘very important’ in their repeat buying decision.
“The pandemic has accelerated e-commerce growth beyond anyone’s wildest imagination -- and this includes buyers’ comfort purchasing large and bulky items online,” said Kris Lamb, CEO of uShip. “This trend has translated into record volumes of large shipments moving through uShip’s network, especially our In-Home Delivery service, since mid-2020 and into 2021.”