94% of Brits more likely to shop online with free delivery

By Dan Wilson October 23, 2017 - 12:43 pm

A survey by Whistl of over 1000 UK online shoppers shows the extent to which offering free delivery and postage costs in general are critical to buying decisions. And as they say in their report: “Paying £90 for a new pair of trainers (or similar product) online can seem like nothing to some people, but the £3.99 delivery charge makes many consumers question the purchase entirely.”

94% of people surveyed said that they were more likely to purchase something online if it has free delivery. Of these consumers, those in the 18 to 24 age bracket were most likely to do so, followed by those between the ages of 45 and 54 years old. 1 in 4 expect free delivery on every online order they make with shoppers in Bristol, Newcastle and Liverpool being the most demanding here. Half think delivery should be free on any and all orders over £10.

Interestingly, so allergic to delivery fees are some people are willing to shop from overseas even if that means they have to wait longer. 55% said they’d rather buy internationally and experience longer waiting times. Men are more open to the idea of buying internationally to save money on delivery costs, as are those in the 25 to 34 age category (75% said they would compared to just 35% of over 65s).

The younger generation are also more impatient, with under 35s prioritising quick delivery, while 45 to 54-year-olds are more willing to wait, with some stating that waiting an extra seven days for items is fine if the delivery is free.

On one level these results are largely unsurprising. We all like getting value and the cheaper the better on delivery costs. But it does demonstrate the perception gap that exists between consumers and retailers. Shoppers want it as cheap as possible but often also fast and tracked but that costs a lot. Only a minority of shoppers seem to understand that they can’t have champagne on a beer budget.

  • Mark
    12 months ago

    For example, on Ebay I’m selling something for £4.99 + £1.50 P&P. From experience more people buy the product that way than when I sold it at £6.49 with “free” P&P, so I take this survey with a complete pinch of salt.

  • northumbrian
    12 months ago

    we have even been asked to for a reduced cost on combined orders
    even though they were free delivery as they would be costing us less to send together

  • Jonah
    12 months ago

    There is no such thing as free delivery. Amazing how people can’t seem to get to grips with this simple fact

  • alan paterson
    12 months ago

    Remember that offering free delivery on Ebay gives a slight boost in visibility under Best Match. Cassini looks more favourably on the free delivery option.

    We have offered free deliver and we have also had postage separate and compared the two over a 6 month period.

    The free delivery listing had a better conversion rate 0.1% higher than the listing with the postage separate. The initial 0.1% “gap” then rose exponentially for the first 3 months of the test period where it levelled out (presumably permanently so as it then stayed constant for the remaining 3 months – unseasonal product).

    The listing with the postage separate remained constant sales and conversion rate over the entire 6 months with no increase.

    This says more about how Ebay regard free delivery than whether the customer prefers it.

  • JD
    12 months ago

    ‘Remember that offering free delivery on Ebay gives a slight boost in visibility under Best Match. Cassini looks more favourably on the free delivery option.’
    Best match is not best known for its ability to search out the best deals for the buyer.
    Sponsored listings attempt to make a mockery of both the algorithm and the intelligence of the buyer.
    Whilst sellers need to concentrate on best profit!

  • 12 months ago


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