The number of heavy online shoppers in the UK – those making 11 or more purchases a quarter – has doubled to three million over the past two years, according to the latest study by Hermes.
And the 2105 Hermes International Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitudes Survey also found that some 18.7 million people have shopped online three or more times in the past three months – up from 13.5 million in 2013.
The survey carried out by Q-Quiz Research is based on more than 2,000 interviews with shoppers in the UK and 1,000 in Germany.
More than half of the UK shoppers said they were now shopping online more that they did last year, while 35 per cent said they planned to shop more online in the next year.
By comparison, in Germany some 49 per cent said they were now shopping more online, and 25 per cent said they intended to in the next year.
Some 72 per cent of UK shoppers said they thought that delivery services used by online retailers were improving.
Perhaps surprisingly, 74 per cent said that for delivery of a £75 item they would choose a two to three day service costing £2.99. Only eight per cent said they would pay £6.99 for next day delivery, and only two per cent would pay £8.99 for same day delivery.
And highlighting the price sensitivity of online shopping, more than 40 per cent expected free delivery for a £75 item. More than 70 per cent expected a free click and collect service.
Mark Pettit, sales and marketing director of Hermes said: “Delivery remains firmly at the heart of a good online shopping experience, acting as a key driver of loyalty and ultimately providing the opportunity to act as a key differentiator in the overall customer proposition.”
This year’s survey also looked at customer experiences of Black Friday last year. About one third of the shoppers had experience problems. Typical problems included access to web sites, goods sold out and technical problems preventing the order going through. Only 11 per cent said they had not had a problem, while 23 per cent had avoided shopping on Black Friday.
Unveiling the survey, Hermes CEO Carole Woodhead highlighted the investment that Hermes has been making to meet the growing demand for home deliveries.
It has just doubled capacity at its Warrington hub to sort one million parcels a day. It has also been adding sub-depots to its network and is recruiting 3,000 additional couriers.
It is also repeating its Christmas money back guarantee. It is committed to a minimum of one UK delivery attempt before Christmas for any parcel that enters the network before midnight on 21st December.