MetaPack Research Finds Outstanding Customer Experience Keeps Shoppers Loyal

Delivering a stand-out experience with every online interaction will increase customer loyalty over time, according to new research from MetaPack, a provider of e-commerce delivery management software. If retailers and brands understand the importance of getting the basics right, customers will reward them with long-term commitment and repeat orders. MetaPack has published its finding in its 2018 State of E-Commerce Delivery Consumer Research report.
The report shows that the experiences that e-commerce retailers and brands provide are helping them to stay ahead in the race for customer allegiance. The research, drawn from an international survey of 3,597 consumers, examines how the delivery choices shoppers encounter influence the purchasing decisions they make.
Key trends include:

  • 75 percent of consumers have purchased more items to take advantage of a minimum-spend free delivery option.
  • 61 percent of consumers say a positive delivery experience incentivizes them to shop with an e-commerce retailer again.
  • 49 percent of shoppers would prioritize shopping with one online provider over another if it offered a loyalty program featuring free, next-day delivery.
  • 44 percent of consumers are tempted to try out new delivery options to take advantage of collection from a local pick-up point.
  • 54 percent now say that it is somewhat, or very important, for them to be able to choose which carrier delivers their online purchases.
  • 77 percent of consumers are conscious of, or care deeply about, the environment when thinking about how they receive their deliveries.
  • 78 percent of shoppers have purchased from a luxury brand in the last 12 months.
Most consumers now expect free delivery for their everyday purchases, and many identify slow delivery as a negative delivery experience. Retailers and brands who get the fundamentals right every time are giving themselves a competitive advantage. 
These advantages are demonstrated by the following:
  • 62 percent of shoppers said free delivery is the top consideration for the majority of purchases they make, and 49 percent don't expect to pay for standard delivery any longer.
  • 70 percent of online consumers are prepared to pay extra to ensure speed and convenience, such as one-hour, same-day, or Sunday delivery.
  • 82 percent of US shoppers have purchased more goods to take advantage of free delivery.
  • 81 percent of Canadian and French shoppers and 80 percent of UK shoppers said free delivery would incentivize them to buy more online during peak sales such as Black Friday.
International e-commerce has never been so popular, with shrewd consumers taking advantage of currency fluctuations to secure great deals on overseas brands. Retailers must ensure they can step up to the demands that shoppers make for superior cross-border services, including transparency over delivery costs.
Some data relevant to international e-commerce:
  • 49 percent of this year's respondents had made between one and five overseas purchases.
  • The top barriers to cross-border shopping are expensive delivery (45 percent), slow delivery (28 percent), and having to pay for delivery (25 percent).
  • North American shoppers are most diligent about extra charges with 83 percent of US and 80 percent of Canadian consumers checking if these will be applied to the goods they order, but French (43 percent), German (38 percent), and Dutch (38 percent) are most likely to abandon their basket if there is an unexpected charge for taxes.
MetaPack research demonstrates that delivery loyalty programs are proving to hold strong consumer appeal. Nearly half (49 percent) said that they would prioritize one e-commerce provider over another because of its loyalty program, and 65 percent would be interested in a loyalty program where multiple brands and retailers worked together to offer a premium delivery service, with 73 percent of Spanish and 74 percent of US consumers favoring the idea.
25 percent of shoppers are planning to join a delivery loyalty program in the coming year. Additionally, green issues are becoming more prevalent amongst consumers and the impact of online deliveries on the environment is not going unnoticed. Retailers can offer real differentiation if they provide eco-friendly delivery options such as consolidated delivery.
  • 26 percent care a great deal about how their online deliveries are contributing to increased carbon emissions and traffic congestion. US consumers (41 percent), in particular, cited this as a concern.
  • The number of consumers that are conscious of the issue is rising, from 47 percent in 2017 up to 51 percent this year, most notably in France (62 percent), the Netherlands (60 percent), and Germany (56 percent).
  • When asked why they preferred a consolidated delivery option, i.e. having all their items delivered at once, over a third (35 percent) said it was because multiple deliveries made them concerned about the environment
Luxury brands are grasping the online opportunity and satisfying the aspirations of digital consumers. This means differentiating their delivery options and providing a premium delivery experience, whether that's offering a two-hour delivery option or a same-day concierge service.
  • US shoppers were the most likely to engage with luxury brands online, with 91 percent making online purchases in the last 12 months.
  • Spanish (89 percent), French (88 percent), and German (86 percent) consumers are also enthusiastic luxury brand purchasers, but in the United Kingdom this number drops to 76 percent and even lower for consumers in the Netherlands at 40 percent.
Given that consumers want choice in all aspects of their online purchasing experience, it makes sense that this now extends to being able to choose the carrier that is entrusted to deliver their goods. 41 percent of shoppers said the freedom to choose a last-mile carrier is very or somewhat important to them. This was extremely important to US (31 percent) shoppers, but less so for consumers from the Netherlands (5 percent) and the United Kingdom (11 percent).

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