Free is better than fast when it comes to shipping, say consumers

The annual Deloitte holiday survey of consumer trends and spending reveals that nine in 10, 88 percent, of consumers view free shipping as more important than options for fast shipping.

Over half, 54 percent, of holiday shoppers describe fast shipping as two days or less and nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, are not willing to pay extra for two-day shipping, according to a release on the survey.

But even more consumers are focused on saving on shipping charges as 43 percent plan to buy items online and pick up in store, which cuts shipping costs out of the spend scenario, notes the survey. Nearly two thirds also believe they should be able to order after Dec. 17 and still get free shipping.

"It only took a few holiday seasons for people to change their expectations of retailers throughout the entire shopping journey — from search and inspiration to product variety, availability and price, to delivery and even returns," said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution leader, in the release. "The online experience has also redefined people's expectations of the physical store. In the survey, people told us online channels outperform stores when it comes to finding unique items and products that are high quality and ones they trust. At one time, online excelled primarily on price followed by convenience, but now, it's outpacing the store experience across all attributes during the holiday season."

Topics: Consumer Behavior, Customer Service

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