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Consumers prefer free delivery when shopping online

04 March 2015 - 13:45 by Simon Crisp

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The unsurprising conclusion of a new study from Walker Sands, has found that people are more likely to shop online if they have the opportunity to get the items they buy shipped to them free of charge.

Seventy six per cent of the respondents to the survey said that they would happily splash out more money today on an e-commerce purchase, without ever having seen it firsthand, than they would have in the past, indicating that consumers are also generally more confident that products will fit the bill.

Meanwhile, 83 per cent of those questioned said that they would actively choose to boost the number of purchases made online, if retailers gave them the opportunity to select a free delivery method.

Free delivery is not the only incentivising factor available to e-commerce companies, as consumers who are spending a lot of money on consumer electronics and home appliances would do so with greater confidence if they could return these products, without having to pay a penny.

This may be asking too much of retailers, although consumers should read up on their rights to ensure that when they do return a product to get it replaced or receive a refund, they are not taken advantage of by companies.

Free delivery is usually preserved for customers of the larger retailers, with companies like Amazon offering this for many years. Some items are exempt from free shipping and retailers will often require that a consumer spends over a minimum amount for an order to be eligible.

While the cost of delivery may be a bone of contention for some shoppers, others are happy to pay a little extra, if it means that their orders arrive on time and at a convenient location.