New E-commerce Fulfillment Study Uncovers Key Factors Impacting Online Purchases
Ryder released it’s ninth annual e-commerce consumer case study “Adapting to Inflation: Consumer Outlook on E-commerce” this week, a study which Ryder assumed after acquiring Dotcom Distribution. The study uncovers key trends and statistics connected to omnichannel fulfillment, purchasing decisions, packaging, shipping, returns, and sustainability.
In 2023, consumers have adapted and adopted new norms, yet certain behaviors remain steadfast. More than any other characteristic, the study found people remain cost-conscious, consistently prioritizing savings, most prominently with free shipping, free returns, and comparison shopping.
What’s important for merchants to keep in mind, though, is that consumer savings does not necessarily predetermine profit or loss on the seller side. In fact, often, it has the opposite effect. Providing customers with options to save in one area can create opportunities to shift spending to other areas, such as increasing order value with free shipping thresholds or earning repeat business with exemplary customer service and convenient returns management.
In early 2022, amid long-term supply chain disruptions, most consumers had adapted to receiving shipments within three to four days—a longer window than was popular in previous years. While that period is still the prevailing expectation, there’s been a slight shift over the past year in which the number of consumers expecting shipments to arrive in three or more days has dropped while the number of consumers who expect shipments to arrive in one to two days is rising.
While urgency is key, another consumer behavior that emerged, reportedly related to concerns surrounding inflation, is the increase in comparison shopping. Being competitive on this point requires not only offering desirable products and pricing, but prioritizing search engine features (e.g., Google Shopping, Yahoo Shopping) to make that information available to active shoppers.
For the survey, 1,077 online shoppers were asked about behavior, preferences, experiences, and expectations pertaining to their e-commerce activity from 2022 to 2023 and looking ahead to the future. Some results include:
- 56% of respondents won’t make a purchase from a company that doesn’t have a free return policy
- 60% of those surveyed expect to receive their order in 3 to 4 days
- 64% of shoppers have not used Buy Now, Pay Later