Free shipping – how important is it?

The choice of free shipping greatly impacts ordering decisions for U.S., German, and UK consumers

When ordering products online for home-delivery, consumers tend to pay a lot of attention to the shipping possibilities offered by an online store, this is what a study conducted by AlixPartners in 2019 found out. AlixPartners interviewed more than 1,000 consumers aged 18 and older in six countries each, to determine their preferences and behaviors when ordering products online for home-delivery. The results show that consumers expect ever more convenient and cheap delivery options – but not to the same extent in every country surveyed. While consumers in all examined countries want their orders to be delivered fast – the average maximum delivery time that the consumers surveyed across the six countries found acceptable was 4.3 days – the importance of cost-free delivery varies significantly between the countries. has taken a closer look at the survey data on the U.S., the UK, and Germany:

Free shipping importance in eCommerce
When comparing consumer attitudes towards free shipping in the three big eCommerce markets the U.S., the UK, and Germany, it turns out that Americans pay the most attention to the option of free delivery when browsing through online stores: When asked how the choice of free shipping impacts their ordering decision when ordering an item for home delivery online, 72% of U.S. consumers state that it greatly impacts their decision whether to order or not. The majority of German and British online shoppers also consider a free-shipping option very important, yet not as considerably as U.S. consumers: The possibility of free shipping greatly impacts the online ordering decisions for 57% of UK and 53% of German online shoppers. The percentages of consumers who do not take the aspect of free shipping into consideration at all is below 10% in all three countries. Most consumers state that a free-shipping option impacts their ordering decision at least to a certain extent.

To find out what French online shoppers think about free delivery of online orders, check out the news article French online shoppers expect free delivery, which features data from an exclusive Statista survey.


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July 2020