Order Fulfillment & ShippingDid you know that online shoppers choose the most economical shipping option two-thirds of the time?

It’s true, I’m not making that up. Actually, it’s not that surprising, really. When consumers shop online, they’re typically in it for either the convenience, and/or the price. And along with a common desire to get the best deal on a product, comes the desire to get the best deal on shipping.

Last month, comScore released their Online Shopping Customer Experience Study, which showed that the biggest opportunity for online retailers is to offer a lenient, clear-cut returns policy. It also showed that consumers expect several shipping options when buying from online retailers.

In fact, nearly 80% of those surveyed as part of the study said that they expect an Economy Ground shipping option, with an expected delivery time of 5-7 days. 60% of online shoppers also expect a Ground shipping option, with a 3-5 day delivery time, 43% expect a 2-3 Day Air option, and 30% expect a Next Day Air option.

Online Shoppers Are Patient

While consumer expectations relative to order fulfillment and shipping may not be all that surprising, the length of time that an online shopper is willing to wait for an order may surprise you.

For instance, while 30% of online shoppers expect Next Day Air, only 2% of those surveyed choose the fastest delivery option most often. The study also revealed that 23% of online shoppers are willing to wait 8 days or more to receive their order. If patience is indeed a virtue, a lot of online consumers sure are blessed with it.

The survey also showed, however, that 48% of consumers are not willing to wait more than 5 days when buying online, and of the 40% of people who have abandoned a shopping cart due to an issue with the delivery date, 64% of the time it was because the estimated delivery time was more than 5 days out.

The important thing to point out here is that at least the delivery date was shown to that 64% of shoppers. A quarter of those that have abandoned their shopping cart due to an issue with the delivery date said that it was because there was no delivery date or time range given. So a good takeaway here is that, if you’re an online retailer and you’re not showing customers an expected delivery date, doing so could lead to a quick uptick in sales.

So what have we learned here today? We’ve learned that consumers want options when it comes to order fulfillment and delivery, even if they only ever choose one of those options. We’ve also learned that, in many cases, price trumps speed, and consumers are willing to wait a little longer in order to spend a little less.