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Cost vs Speed: Buyers Are Price Conscious When It Comes to Delivery

Cost vs Speed: Buyers Are Price Conscious When It Comes to Delivery

A new study found the top three delivery problems reported by online shoppers all relate to timeliness. Yet it also found that consumers’ preference for low-cost delivery is twice as important as delivery speed.

Logistics expert Descartes published its second annual survey of over 8,000 consumers in North America and Europe that asked them about their purchases and delivery preferences.

Interestingly it said the type of product impacts online shoppers’ delivery preferences:

“The lowest cost delivery method was most important overall for purchases of books (44%) and films/music (43%), but less important for medicines (29%) and groceries (28%).

“Medicines (26%) and groceries (23%), however, received the highest scores for speed.

“Appliances (white goods) and furniture (tied at 26%) were the top product categories for delivery precision followed by groceries and electronics (tied at 23%).”

The study also found that product category made no meaningful difference for environmentally-friendly preferences.

Descartes 2023 study found that “the torrid growth of ecommerce in the early 2020s slowed in 2022 as high interest rates and rising costs slowed consumers’ appetite for non-essential online purchases.”

The top reason for not increasing ecommerce purchases moved from “seeing the actual product before buying” in 2022 to “less disposable income” in 2023. By comparison, “less disposable income” was the fifth highest choice in Descartes’ 2022 study.

Descartes survey finding
Source: Descartes

Likely concerning to online sellers is the study’s finding that while there was a 6% improvement in delivery performance compared to the 2022 study, 67% of the consumers surveyed still experienced a delivery failure in the three-month evaluation period, according to Descartes Executive Vice President Chris Jones.

You can find a link to the full report, “Dear Consumer: How Do You Feel About Home Delivery Now?” in Descartes’ announcement.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

2 thoughts on “Cost vs Speed: Buyers Are Price Conscious When It Comes to Delivery”

  1. I ship first class mail for 2.25. 3-5 days for delivery. Get all kinds of question about where the tracking number is. Buyers don’t understand the more services they want the more it costs. They still think shipping is free.

  2. I like seeing the postage split out from product cost. If I was from the UK I would especially like that because the cost is now with the declared value and over there taxed up the wazoo. I think Australia is super high also

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