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88% of Shoppers Value Free Shipping Over Speed

by | 4 minute read

Fast and free shipping return as holiday shopper favorites, according to Deloitte‘s 33rd annual “Holiday Survey” of consumer spending intentions and trends.

According to AudienceSCAN, 12% of the U.S. adult population is made
up of eCommerce Devotees, a.k.a consumers who prefer to buy from
internet-based stores. This group does more than just make online
purchases. Within the last month, 51% have used a search engine to
research a product they were considering for purchase, 45% have played
online games and 40% have looked up coupons or discount codes. This
group is also 17% more likely than other adults to be willing to
sacrifice some privacy to get ads that are relevant to them and 17% find
advertising on their mobile apps useful to them.

Free consistently trumps fast when it comes to shipping preferences

  • For
    the second consecutive year, 88% of survey respondents prefer free
    shipping over receiving their holiday packages faster (12%).
  • The
    majority (61%) of holiday shoppers report they will buy items that
    qualify for free shipping this season. For free shipping, two-thirds
    (66%) are willing to wait 3-7 days for their merchandise.
  • More
    than 3 in 5 people surveyed (62%) define “fast shipping” as two days or
    less, up from 54% in 2017. One-quarter (25%) define three to four day
    delivery as fast shipping, down from 35% in 2017.
  • Among the
    reasons for shopping in stores, 47% of respondents said it was to “avoid
    shipping costs.” Their top reason to shop online is “convenience” (77%)
    followed by “free shipping” (72%).

No lumps of coal for retailers impacted by past data breaches; most shoppers willing to trade personal information for discounts

  • Of
    the 77% of shoppers who are concerned about retailers who experienced
    breaches, nearly all (91%) say they would continue to shop those same
    retailers. Almost half (46%) indicate they would return if the retailer
    acted to regain their trust, and one-third (34%) say they would change
    their method of payment. Only 7% said they would never shop at that
    retailer again.
  • More than half of consumers are comfortable
    sharing basic demographic information with retailers, such as their
    gender (56%) and first and last name (53%).
  • Retailers have a
    smaller chance of obtaining certain types of personal information from
    consumers like geolocation (18%), financial history and credit scores
    (16%) or biometric data (12%).
  • However, people may be willing to
    share information if they get something in return: 61% of respondents
    say they would take a promotion or discount in exchange for sharing
    personal information.

Shopping on PCs and tablets flattening, while mobile continues to accelerate

  • More than two-thirds (67%) of smartphone shoppers plan to use their phones to make a purchase, up from 59% last year.
  • This
    holiday season, 76% of respondents say they’ll use their desktop or
    laptop to shop, making it the most preferred device, but that number
    fell from 83% in 2017. Tablets remain relatively flat, at 22%, compared
    with 20% last year.
  • Newer technology has yet to capture
    attention; just 5% of people surveyed said they’d use voice assistant
    for shopping, 5% for social commerce, and 4% said they’d engage in
    virtual reality technology.

Younger generations more likely to gravitate toward discount shopping days and sustainable products

  • More
    than half (54%) of Generation Z (ages 18–23) and millennials (ages
    24–41) (53%) say they’ll rely on Black Friday compared with only 37% of
    seniors. Those numbers are higher for Cyber Monday, where 63% of
    Generation Z and 62% of millennials indicate they’re sticking with Cyber
    Monday shopping as in the past.
  • Younger shoppers appear more
    willing to consider a higher price tag for social responsibility at
    checkout. Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) of Generation Z and three quarters (75%)
    of millennial shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
    By comparison, almost half (47%) of baby boomers and 41% of seniors are
    not willing to pay extra.

“The same percentage of shoppers prefer fast shipping over free compared with last year, but perceptions about delivery speed have changed considerably,” said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail and distribution leader. “The expectation for delivery has become two days or less. Fast and free used to be considered incentives, and now they’re just table stakes.”

Retailers can target eCommerce Devotees with advertisements on the media formats this group uses. According to AudienceSCAN, last year, 47.6% of these consumers took action after receiving email ads and 42.9% were driven to action after either receiving a text ad or seeing an advertisement on their mobile smartphone apps. They’re also 6% more likely than other adults to click on text link ads on websites. Don’t forget those coupons this group is searching for; last year, 47.1% of this audience took action after receiving direct mail ads/coupons.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.

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