Peak practice

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Convenience outweighs price for online shopping. Some might find that hard to believe, but that’s the clear message from a survey into consumer preferences.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

Less encouraging is the fact that three quarters of those surveyed highlighted parcel delivery as the aspect of online shopping that they most disliked.

The study, “The Tipping Point: Parcel Delivery”, commissioned by NetDespatch, involved a survey of 1,000 consumers by Opinion Matters.

Almost half said that being able to shop when they want and not when the shop is open was a top priority.

And 38 per cent of respondents said that not having to visit a physical store was a key priority, while price came third.

Perhaps surprisingly, 88 per cent of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay for a one or two day parcel delivery service – the other 12 per cent stated categorically that they would never be prepared to pay for one or two day delivery.

The survey also found that 78 per cent of consumers are choosing alternative delivery options such as lockers, convenience stores, the Post Office and click and collect. Only 22 per cent said delivery to home or work was the only delivery option they would consider.

Respondents who said that they would be prepared to pay were asked how much they would be prepared to pay for a one to two day parcel delivery. 97.2 per cent of these respondents would be prepared to pay for a distress purchase. 17 per cent would be prepared to pay anywhere between £5 to over £8. 65 per cent would be prepared to pay between £2 and £5.

It’s all to easy to see online retail solely in terms of lowest price and free delivery, but there is far more to it than that. The rapid development of a range of delivery options is clearly having an impact, and this survey suggests that we are seeing changes in consumer attitudes.

But the real test of both consumer demands and the ability of the online retailers and their delivery partners to satisfy those demand is still before us. The Black Friday peak is now exactly one month away.

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