US online shoppers want more free shipping

US consumers increasingly expect free delivery of items ordered online and are also embracing new options, such as picking up their online purchases at a local store.
The latest issue of the quarterly Consumer View report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in the US also found that 75% of consumers surveyed expect delivery to be free even on orders under $50, up from 68$ a year ago.
NRF vice president for research development and industry analysis Mark Mathews said: “Consumers want free delivery, and they’re willing to meet retailers halfway to get it.
“If we can get their purchase to the store, they’ll come pick it up if that’s what it takes to avoid a delivery charge. And once they’re in the store, they are very open to seeing what else the retailer has to offer. This is part of the growing evidence that consumers see retail as retail regardless of how they make their purchases and get them.”
“As the realms of physical and digital shopping converge, retailers are offering more choices than ever in terms of how and when shoppers receive their purchases,” the report said, adding: “And consumers are embracing these new fulfilment options – as long as they’re free.”
Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) demand free shipping the most, with 88% expecting it. That compares with 77% for Generation X (1965-1980), 61% for millennials (1981-1994) and 76% for Generation Z (1995 and later). 
According to the NRF, which represents department store owners across the UK, many consumers now consider shipping costs even before getting to the checkout page, with 65% saying they look up free-shipping thresholds before adding items to their online shopping carts.
“Consumers also want their products fast, with 39% expecting two-day shipping to be free, and 29% have backed out of a purchase because two-day shipping wasn’t free.”
The survey found that 70% of consumers who are aware of buying online and picking up in store had tried it, and the top reason for doing so was to avoid paying for shipping. Picking up at the cash register is still the most frequent practice, done by 83% of those who have bought online and picked up in-store.
Consumer View is a quarterly report issued by NRF that gauges consumer behaviour and shopping trends related to stores, online channels, customer loyalty, technology and other topics. Toluna Analytics surveyed 3,002 US adults 18 or older for NRF October 23 through November 30, 2018. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

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