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Speedy Delivery or Cheap Shipping Rates? The Answer from Online Consumers May Surprise You

Cost of Shipping

You decide to purchase a product online and right when you’re about to complete the transaction process you’re forced to answer the inevitable and question which factor is most important to you: delivery speed or shipping cost? You start to go through your available options, starting with standard shipping. You know you’ll get the best value with this (unless you happen to win the jackpot with free shipping), but you’re hesitant to choose it because you’re the type of shopper that wants things quick. What’s a little more money for some timely delivery and instant gratification?

At this point, your inner struggle is real and you wonder: I’m going to wait 10 days? Just expedite it so it’ll get here sooner. You know it’s not that urgent, don’t splurge. Your eyes gleam over the expedited option and nothing’s stopping you from checking the box and having your order delivered to you within a few days except…. that exorbitant shipping rate!

Recoiling at the ridiculous price and immediately backtracking to alter your order, you’re pretty much convinced that speedy delivery isn’t as significant as low shipping cost. Sacrificing the luxury of one to two-day delivery, you end up opting for the cheapest shipping method so it doesn’t empty your wallet.

Believe it or not, this type of buying behavior is becoming more common and the cost of shipping is heavily influencing online consumers.

Consumers and The Cost of Shipping: What They’ll do to Reduce Rates and Save Bucks

In a recent survey by Purolator International, Americans (63%) and Canadians (76%) consider the price of shipping to be extremely important when completing a purchase online. Putting cost above convenience can be difficult for some, but for those that are willing to wait four days or longer for their order instead of pay for first-class treatment think otherwise. In fact, it was reported by the same source that greater than half actually modify dates on their order so they can take advantage of cheap shipping rates.

Some shoppers even attempt to lower their cost of shipping by adding more items to their order. I know what you’re thinking… Isn’t that contradictory? Won’t they still have to spend extra money regardless? The answer is yes, but the reasoning has to do with whether or not you care where your money goes. For instance, an article from Huffington Post confirmed that a good number of consumers (36% in that study) prefer to dish out more cash on another item than to spend it on express shipping.

Basically, it’s more comforting to know that you’re putting money towards something concrete as opposed to something intangible like the cost of shipping. It’s kind of like taking out money at the grocery store ATM. You’re either going to: A) Accept the $2 fee B) Go inside to buy a pack of gum and get cash back, or C) Avoid this altogether at your bank where it’s free. I think it’s safe to say that in the world of online shopping, this describes consumer buying behavior to a tee. Some will go the extra mile for expedited service, some will strategically avoid putting money towards shipping cost and others will choose the cheapest shipping method that charges them little to nothing. And guess what? The latter always wins because people will go to great lengths to save on shipping (even if it means checking out competitors for a better deal).

Savvy Shopping: How Competitor Research is the New Strategy to Avoid High Shipping Cost

Scoping out other options for the best shipping rates is nothing out of the ordinary, and people will do it if it means one less dollar to spend on transporting their precious cargo. It’s even more likely to happen when customers are faced with overpriced shipping fees added to their main total during checkout. A recent study showed that 44% of people desert their shopping cart due to unforeseen, costly shipping rates. And what do you think happens when shoppers are confronted with the unexpected and expensive? Well, they browse around and look elsewhere for a shipping price that’s affordable.

A statistic from HubSpot states that “53% of consumers say that low-cost shipping is a sufficient reason to change online retailers.” This means that they’re not afraid to do their research and compare prices from multiple online stores just to find the right fit. Oh yeah, and they’re ridiculously good at it. The Pulse of the Online Shopper Survey, conducted by UPS, reported that customers end up paying for shipping fees on roughly every 2 in 5 orders made online. Meaning, the majority of the time they’re finding ways to combat expensive prices like using promo codes, coupons, subscriptions and (in some cases) qualifying for free shipping.

So unless you want them to jump ship in search of the best value possible, it’s necessary to get on board with consumers and give them what they want: economical shipping costs that don’t make them question their purchase, bounce off your online store and hit up your rivals for a compare and contrast session. That’s why it’s vital to work with your fulfillment company to adjust the cost of shipping on orders so that your customers remain satisfied and keep coming back.

Don’t let steep shipping fees appall consumers and stop you from making sales. Get on the right track with your order fulfillment by reviewing competitive pricing options and offering alternatives that affect the cost like tracking capability. To explore your fulfillment options, contact our fulfillment experts today!

Speedy Delivery or Cheap Shipping Rates? The Answer from Online Consumers May Surprise You was last modified: September 11th, 2015 by Kara
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