Survey Says: The Role of Delivery is Critical in Customer Loyalty
How does the delivery experience impact customer loyalty? According to recent MetaPack research of more than 3,500 consumers in North America and Europe, if retailers get the basics right, enable customers to curate their own deliveries, and meet their needs and interests quickly, customers will reward them with long-term commitment and repeat orders.
Findings of the MetaPack 2018 State of eCommerce Delivery Consumer Research Report demonstrated that against the backdrop of struggling in-store sales, e-commerce retailers can provide experiences that help them to effectively compete — and win — when it comes to customer allegiance. Research showed that a positive delivery experience incentivizes 61 percent of consumers to shop with an e-commerce retailer again.
Here are some additional findings from the report that demonstrate the essential role that delivery plays in customer experience and loyalty.
Back to Basics
Most consumers now expect free delivery for their everyday purchases, and many identify slow delivery as a negative experience. Retailers that get the fundamentals correct every time are giving themselves a competitive advantage. Consider the following:
- 62 percent of shoppers said free delivery is the top consideration for the majority of purchases they make, and 49 percent no longer expect to pay for standard delivery;
- 70 percent of online consumers are prepared to pay extra to ensure speed and convenience, such as one-hour, same-day or Sunday delivery;
- 75 percent of global consumers surveyed have purchased more items to take advantage of a minimum spend “free delivery” option, with 82 percent of U.S. shoppers specifically purchasing more goods to take advantage of this incentive; and
- 81 percent of Canadian and French shoppers and 80 percent of U.K. shoppers said free delivery would incentivize them to buy more online during peak sales.
Customer Choice is Key
Given that consumers want choice in all aspects of their online purchasing experience, it makes sense that this now extends to being able to choose the carrier that's entrusted to deliver their goods. Forty-one percent of shoppers said the freedom to choose a last-mile carrier is very or somewhat important to them. This was extremely important to U.S. (31 percent) shoppers, but less so for consumers in the Netherlands (5 percent) and U.K. (11 percent).
Satisfy Customer Wants and Interests
The research demonstrates that delivery loyalty programs, new delivery options and environmentally friendly delivery choices are proving to hold strong consumer appeal.
- Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents said that they would prioritize one e-commerce provider over another because of its loyalty program, and 65 percent would be interested in a loyalty program where multiple brands and retailers worked together to offer a premium delivery service, with 73 percent of Spanish and 74 percent of U.S. consumers favoring the idea.
- Twenty-five percent of shoppers are planning to join a delivery loyalty program in the coming year.
- Forty-four percent of consumers are tempted to try out new delivery options to take advantage of collection from a local pick-up point.
- Seventy-seven percent of consumers are conscious of or care deeply about the environment when thinking about how they receive their deliveries. When asked why they preferred a consolidated delivery option (i.e., having all their items delivered at once), over a third (35 percent) said it was because multiple deliveries made them concerned about the impact on the environment.
Consumers view delivery as a pivotal moment in their online shopping experience; it’s the reason why the last mile is increasingly focused on enabling exemplary consumer experiences that build brand reputation and loyalty.
As e-commerce markets mature, so do consumer expectations around what a great e-delivery experience looks like. Retailers will need to master new capabilities and innovate to keep up with fast-evolving customer expectations and realize the lifetime value impact of delivery.
Bruce Fair is the chief revenue officer of MetaPack, an e-commerce delivery management software.
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