Cost and speed of delivery continue to be key battlegrounds as online sales rise

Cost and speed of delivery continue to be key battlegrounds for businesses competing for online spend as the amount of shopping done via the web by online shoppers rises from 74% to 80%, according to the Royal Mail’s Delivery Matters report.

It found that delivery feedback is especially important when purchasing through marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay, with 84% considering a seller’s delivery rating as a crucial factor when choosing where to buy from.

The research also showed the increasing popularity for delivery subscriptions with one in four shoppers now paying for the service, which allows unlimited next day delivery on all orders within a pre-paid period. Although others are following its lead the most common retailer that online shoppers have a delivery subscription with remains Amazon (76%). 

The study showed that 
choice (54%), price comparison (53%) and convenience (49%) are the key reasons that shoppers go online instead of in-store. The average online clothes shopper spends £40 a month and shops online for clothes or footwear at least once a month. Over half (55%) of female shoppers purchase clothes online, compared to a third (33%) of male shoppers. Amazon (32%) and eBay (22%) are the most popular online clothing outlets, with M&S and Next (both 11%) the best performing from the high street.

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said “Despite consumers tightening their purse strings, online shopping continues to grow. How you deliver is as important as what you sell and a quarter of shoppers are now paying an upfront fee for unlimited delivery. Businesses of all sizes need to make sure they respond to this demand or risk being left behind,” he said. 

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