Free shipping – most important in North America

68% of Canadian and 67% of U.S. shoppers find free shipping crucial in their online shopping experience

The effects of the corona crisis have transformed stationary and online retail alike. Consumers have changed their shopping behavior fundamentally – many brick-and-mortar stores needed to adapt their business models and open up towards an omnichannel approach and online retailers have to cope with unprecedented demand. But the surge in online orders did not only pose a challenge to retailers, it also put parcel deliverers in a difficult situation. Between July and September 2020 only, German deliverer DHL recorded a parcel volume of 1.3 billion, which is a rise of 12% compared to the same period in 2019. The last mile has been a bottleneck in online order fulfillments for a while and COVID-19 has further intensified the challenge. And yet fast and convenient shipping is a key factor in online customer satisfaction. A recently released international study by Shopify found out that more than one third of online shoppers are frustrated when their parcel takes too long to arrive at their doorstep. But it is not only delivery speed that matters to online shoppers, many people pay significant attention also to the cost. Said study reports that 23% of online shoppers are equally frustrated when they have to pay extra for delivery. A country comparison however reveals that free shipping is not equally important everywhere in the world:

Those who attribute most relevance to a free shipping option when they shop online are Canadians and U.S. Americans: 68% respectively 67% of consumers in both countries state that free shipping plays a crucial role in a positive online shopping experience. But Spain in third place is very close: With 66%, more than two thirds of Spanish consumers also place great importance on free shipping of their online orders. Japan, Italy, Australia, France, the UK, New Zealand and Germany still have a rather free-shipping-conscious online shopping population – between 56% and 60% in those countries agree to the statement that free delivery is crucial to a positive online shopping experience. The only country in the ranking where less than half of consumers find free shipping important is India – a fact that clearly illustrates that consumers nowadays set high standards when it comes to convenience in online shopping.


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February 2021