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ShipEngine’s Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report 2023: helping retailers to navigate a resilient course through recession

The storm isn’t over yet for the ecommerce industry. We made it through a turbulent 2022 but global economic uncertainty is ongoing and 2023 is proving to be another year of challenges and opportunities. 

To help you navigate these ups and downs, ShipEngine and Retail Economics have produced an extensive new report detailing the state of online retail, delivery expectations and shifting consumer preferences – as well as the concerns of shoppers who are watching their cash more than ever before. 

This free report analyses data from over 8,000 global households and more than 800 online merchants across various age demographics, locations and financial backgrounds. 

So, what does it uncover?

The global retail landscape is choppy

A host of countries, the UK included, are heading towards an economic tipping point, with consumer confidence taking a hit from intense inflation, geopolitical tension, and rises in interest rates. 

Despite these circumstances, consumers are starting to adjust to this new world. For example, the report shows that shoppers’ attitudes are more favourable to online shopping in countries where concerns about inflation and unemployment are somewhat stabilising, such as the United States and Australia.

In the UK, there’s still some way to go. 63% of consumers expressed concerns about their finances and the broader economy. Food, fuel, and energy prices are the top economic concern, with the general economic outlook and unemployment rounding out the top three.

Online shopping trends in 2023

Buying behaviours in households across most countries are evolving and online shopping isn’t exempt from these changes.

The report reveals and illustrates four shopper personas based on how consumers weigh their needs against their finances and the wider economy. 

The four consumers types identified are:

  • Necessity shoppers – Purchasing only when absolutely necessary
  • Postponers – Purchasing less often
  • Value Hunters – Actively switching to cheaper alternatives
  • Carry On Spenders – unchanged purchasing behaviours

Of those that fit into the category of ‘least affluent’, 52% of consumers will only make purchases when necessary, 17% are reducing the number of purchases they make, and 9% are switching to a cheaper brand or retailer. This suggests that most people are either only spending when it’s a must, or consciously shifting their spending.

The report also reveals that, across non-food sectors, a net proportion of consumers do expect to shop online more in 2023 than they did last year.

Data, Data, Data

This overview only scratches the surface of the report’s content. Want to know the numbers behind consumers shifting to second-hand products? What about cost vs convenience shopping? Or the importance of sustainability? 

These trends and countless others are analysed in depth, providing the market data and insight needed to make shrewd choices, weather the storm and delight customers. 

Download the full report for insights into how consumer behaviour is changing, and best the rest for 2023.


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