What’s the fuss with free delivery?

What’s the fuss with free delivery?

We all love free delivery: it makes us feel as though we’re getting a better deal when shopping online, not to mention that no one wants to be hit with high delivery costs at the final stage of their checkout journey. Although, how much of a difference does it really make, when it comes to the customer funnel, and what do shoppers think about it?

Now in its 13th year, the annual home delivery survey, conducted with IMRG and nShift this year, seeks to find out how changes in attitudes might affect retailers, and what customers think about various aspects of delivery.

In the first graph below, we can see the responses to the question, ‘has an enhanced delivery option ever encouraged you to spend more than you originally intended?’. The respondents could choose between faster delivery above a certain value, or free delivery above a certain value. Interestingly, free delivery has been a consistent winner since 2017, as customers don’t seem fussed about whether their order comes any faster or not.


Had an enhanced delivery offer ever encouraged you to spend more than you originally intended?

(Source: Maru, nShift and IMRG Home Delivery Report)


In fact, the aversion to paying for delivery may be even stronger than we think, as we asked 1,000 customers whether they would be willing to pay a premium to receive their deliveries faster, and the consistent majority have always said ‘no’. There is no pattern, year-by-year, in the data shown below, except for the fact that most customers will not pay any additional costs to receive items faster, suggesting they expect rapid home delivery, at no extra cost.


Were you prepared to pay an additional delivery premium to get your purchase more quickly?

(Source: Maru, nShift and IMRG Home Delivery Report)


It can be concluded from these two graphs, that free delivery is indeed a really big deal to customers, and is expected as the norm. It also must be fast, and seamless, as they’re not willing to pay more for quicker dispatch times. This customer sentiment could be as a result of services such as Amazon Prime making rapid next-day delivery the new normal, which now seems to be expected across the board. It seems vital that retailers have the infrastructure in place to offer these quick, free delivery options, to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty. By using our nShift Checkout product, you will be able to offer your customers a wide range of delivery choices and increase conversion.

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