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Cost of delivery most important ecommerce factor for both consumers and retailers, survey finds

Image © Auctane

UK consumers put delivery fees ahead of speed, convenience, tracking and sustainability, according to the newly published The Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report 2024.

Commissioned by by Metapack and ShipEngine’s parent company, Auctane, in partnership with Retail Economics, the report surveyed 8,000 consumers and 400 merchants across eight markets.

Launched yesterday [06 February 2024], at the Delivery Conference, the research found that 35% of UK consumers see the cost of delivery as the most important factor when shopping online.

The report further showcases the impact of high shipping costs: 65% of surveyed UK consumers are less likely to shop with a brand due to them, while 50% are unwilling to pay for premium deliveries. Navigating this delicate balance between cost optimisation and customer satisfaction will be crucial for retailers in the year ahead.

The research also found that £52bn – nearly half – of UK online non-food sales in 2023 interacted with physical touchpoints.

Al Ko, CEO of Auctane, Metapack and ShipEngine’s parent company, said: “The £52bn figure reveals a fascinating evolution in consumer behaviour, and a major opportunity for brands. We’re moving beyond simply ‘online’ or ‘offline’ shopping. Today’s consumers seamlessly blend physical touchpoints, like stores, with social media discovery. They’re even showing openness to new innovations like AI for streamlining the most tedious parts of the shopping process, like delivery and returns. 

“Retailers who excel at crafting this omnichannel experience – where browsing trends on social media inspire in-store visits and technology streamlines logistics – will be well-positioned for success in 2024. It’s not just about convenience, it’s about fostering a dynamic, personalised journey that builds lasting brand loyalty.”

Additionally, the benchmark looked at social media’s influence – nearly 40% of digital natives (under 45) relying on social media for inspiration and product research, compared to just 35% who use retail websites.

It also highlighted that while some UK consumers remain cautious about AI’s introduction, 30% see AI as valuable for streamlining order and delivery updates, and 27% believe it can simplify returns and exchanges.

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