Retail study: 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping No. 1 incentive to shop online more

The Walker Sands Future of Retail report found nearly a third of all consumers now shop online at least once a week.

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Online retailers not offering free shipping may want to reconsider their delivery options. According to the Walker Sands Future of Retail 2016 study, nine out of 10 of the survey participants said free shipping was the No. 1 incentive when asked what would make them shop online more often.

Surveying more than 1,400 US consumers on their shopping habits, the report found that the number of online shoppers is up more than 41 percent over 2014, with nearly a third (31 percent) of all consumers now shopping online at least once a week.

In addition to free shipping, 69 percent of the consumers listed one-day delivery as an incentive to shop online more, and 68 percent listed free returns and exchanges. Other incentives to shop online more included same-day shipping and in-store returns.

Nearly half (49 percent) of the survey participants said same-day shipping would make them more likely to shop online, but only nine percent reported using same-day shipping during the past year.

[pullquote]While nearly half of consumers say same-day shipping would make them shop more online, it appears that relatively few are being given the option.[/pullquote]

Of the most frequent online shoppers, 50 percent reported using one-day shipping, and 85 percent have used two-day shipping. Sixty percent of frequent shoppers have purchased products online to pick up in store (click and collect), four times more than the consumers who shop online only a few times a year.

Walker Sands retail study purchase drivers

The survey also asked consumers their thoughts on drones and found that 79 percent said it’s likely they would choose drones as a delivery option if it meant getting purchases within an hour of ordering. Eighty percent of the most frequent shoppers reported they would be more likely to buy from a retailer that offered drone delivery, compared to only 53 percent of infrequent online shoppers.

Most consumers weren’t swayed by extra costs when it came to drone delivery options, with 73 percent saying they would be willing to pay up to a $10 delivery fee. When asked about safety and security concerns around drones, 72 percent of the consumers surveyed said theft and damaged goods were their top concerns.

Forty percent of the survey participants expect to have drone delivery options within the next two years. The report points out this may be an unrealistic expectation, as the FAA probably won’t release commercial drone regulations for another three years.

In addition to ecommerce delivery options and incentives, the report also asked consumers about their in-store shopping, luxury ecommerce and mobile payment habits.

According to the findings, 92 percent of consumers prefer in-store shopping for food and groceries, but 68 percent said they would be willing to buy these products on Amazon or a grocer’s website. Twenty-seven percent reported purchasing a luxury item online during the last 12 months. More than a third (36 percent) reported using a mobile payment app in the past year, with Android Pay topping the list of the most popular mobile payment options.

The full report can be downloaded on the Walker Sands website: Future of Retail 2016.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Amy Gesenhues
Amy Gesenhues was a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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