NRF Survey Shows Just How Important Free Shipping is for Shoppers
Blame Amazon. That’s really all I can think to say when boiling down the results of the National Retail Federation’s most recent quarterly Consumer View report. The survey, which looks into all sorts of things revolving around the shopping experience for the customer, found that consumers increasingly expect free shipping of items they buy online.
Specifically, the report found that 75 percent of those surveyed said they expect delivery to be free, even on orders that come in under $50—which is used as a sort of “free shipping threshold” by a number of major retailers. That number is up from 68 percent a year ago, NRF said.
One positive out of the report: Consumers did note that they’re willing to work with retailers in the form of services like buy-online-pickup-in-store in order to get free shipping.
“Consumers want free delivery, and they’re willing to meet retailers halfway to get it,” NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said in a statement. “If we can get their purchase to the store, they’ll come pick it up if that’s what it takes to avoid a delivery charge. And once they’re in the store, they are very open to seeing what else the retailer has to offer. This is part of the growing evidence that consumers see retail as retail regardless of how they make their purchases and get them.”
Somewhat surprisingly, the report found that it was the older generations of shoppers who drove that free shipping statistic upwards. Baby boomers (88 percent) demanded free shipping the most, followed by Gen X (77 percent), Gen Z (76 percent), and lastly Millennials (61 percent).
Shipping costs are viewed so critically by consumers, NRF said, that consumers will consider those costs before even getting to the checkout page of a retailer’s website. In the survey, 65 percent of consumers said they look up the free-shipping thresholds before adding items to their cart. Another 39 percent said they expect faster, two-day shipping to be free, and 29 percent said they have backed out of a purchase after discovering that two-day shipping wasn’t free.
Thanks, Amazon Prime…