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Customers don’t automatically expect free delivery

Customers don’t automatically expect free delivery – until they get to a £10 spend limit, according to new research from delivery management company Whistl.

A survey of 1,000 respondents by the company found that two-thirds said that they would not expect free delivery when placing orders online and would pay between £2 to £4 for a delivery. However the research showed that beyond a £10 spend consumers begin to expect free delivery to be included and that two-thirds (67%) would also abort a purchase online if they felt the delivery price was too high.

The majority of respondents (75%) said that the amount they will pay online is unaffected by the offer of free delivery but, surprisingly, a third of consumers overbuy to avoid delivery and return charges.

For those who did choose free delivery, half were willing to wait an extra two to three days to get it whilst 28% were willing to wait an additional four to five days.

The study also showed that more than half of UK customers prefer to buy internationally and experience longer delivery times if it means avoiding a delivery fee.

“It is clear from the research that retailers need to take into consideration how much they charge for delivery and what the minimum spend should be, as this is having a direct impact on how much people spend on online purchases or whether they buy anything at all,” said Melanie Darvall, director marketing and communications at Whistl.

“We were surprised to find that nearly a third of consumers would purposefully overbuy with the intention of sending items back, purely in order to qualify for the free delivery. The UK consumer is complex and requires bespoke delivery solutions that enable the retailers to maximise the sales opportunity without impact on profit margins,” she said.

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