Shipping in Online Retail in the U.S. 2017 report

Consumer Insights report

Shipping in Online Retail in the U.S. 2017 report

Big online retailers do not only offer low prices, but also provide a convenient shopping experience: all items are delivered directly to any location specified by the customer. At the moment most online shops offer free shipping once the total value of all shopping cart items exceeds a certain amount. However, rising customer expectations and growing competition put pressure on online retailers, especially inthe clothing segment.

Topics include

  • Attitudes towards shipping costs
  • Attitudes towards shipping times
  • Use of services offered by shipping providers
  • Attitudes towards different delivery methods
  • Share of returns
  • Attitudes towards shipping terms
  • Attitudes towards returns, reasons for returns

Table of contents

Key Findings


  • Shipping terms are an important factor when ordering online – low acceptance rate for high shipping costs
  • Even with free shipping, 80% of shoppers expect a delivery within seven days at the latest
  • Shipment tracking and delivery notifications are the most-used services offered by shipping providers
  • Low use of fast shipping and scheduled delivery options; young shoppers use them the most
  • Younger online shoppers are more likely to use express shipping options to avoid long delivery times
  • Online shoppers are open to new delivery methods (e.g. via robots and drones)
  • Altogether, consumers do not return many products; mostly clothingt
  • Younger online shoppers return far more items than older userst
  • Younger online shoppers are less concerned about the consequences of increasing shipping volumes
  • Damaged and poorly described products are being returned in particular
  • Majority of online shoppers do not think it is right to order items one does not really want
  • Mobile online shoppers deliberately accept having to return items
  • Returns because of changes of mind are most common among young female mobile shoppers

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