Two thirds of Brits will not buy online if delivery costs are perceived as too high  

Revealed: Delivery and returns expectations of UK shoppers  

British shoppers are demanding free delivery on online purchases, with 67 per cent stating that there are not willing to buy online if delivery costs are too high, new research has revealed. 

A study conducted by delivery management company Whistl has analysed the delivery and returns expectations of customers, revealing that one in four Brits expect free delivery on all online purchases, regardless of a minimum spend. 

Retailers that aren’t offering free delivery and returns on their products might want to think again, with 94 per cent of Brits stating they are more likely to purchase something if delivery is free, and 65per centrevealing they are more willing to buy if there is a free returns policy.  

The research also revealed that a third of online shoppers commonly overspend with the intention of sending items back, in order to qualify for free delivery.  

The cost of delivery is also having an impact on the amount people spend, with 27 per cent of Brits admitting that they would not spend as much as they do if free delivery and returns were not available.  

When it comes to waiting for the products, 50 per cent of shoppers are willing to wait an extra 2-3 days if it means that they will get free delivery. 28 per cent of people are willing to wait an additional 4-5 days. 

When asked how much they would be willing to spend on delivery, the majority (41 per cent) stated they would be happy to pay between £2-£4. 29per centsaid they would expect to pay in the £0-£2 bracket, and 20 per cent stated they would spend between £4-£6.  

The research also revealed that women are more likely than men to purchase something online if it is free delivery, as well as being more likely to overbuy and return items to save on delivery fees. Men however, are willing to spend more on delivery with 35 per cent happy to pay £6-£10 as opposed to 25 per cent of females.  

It appears that the younger generation are more accepting of paying more for goods to enable free delivery, with the 18-24 category being the most willing to spend a minimum of £40 on orders for the privilege.  

Whereas the older generation (55-64) who might be more familiar with heading to the shops, were the most in demand of free delivery, with one in three believing that every purchase should be delivered free of charge.  

This was also apparent in the time they are willing to wait for products, with under 35sprioritisingquick delivery, while over 45s are prepared to wait up to an additional 7 days if they are able to get it for free.  

The research was also broken down to find out the opinions of shoppers in the different cities across the UK, and this found the following:  

  • Online shoppers in Liverpool, Bristol and Newcastle believe that free delivery should be available for every purchase regardless of a minimum spend 

  • Residents in Glasgow and Birmingham are the most willing to accept a higher minimum spend in order to qualify for free delivery 

  • Residents in Edinburgh and Birmingham are the most likely to overbuy online and then plan to return items, purely to save on delivery fees 

Melanie Darvall, Director of Marketing & Communications at Whistl said: “After our previous study revealed that Brits spend £3.1bna month on impulse purchases, we wanted to find out if the cost of delivery and returns actually affected the buying intentions of consumers.  

“It is clear from the research that retailers need to take into consideration how much they charge for delivery and what the minimum spend should be, as this is having a direct impact on how much people spend on online purchases or whether they buy anything at all.  

“We were surprised to find that nearly a third of Brits would purposefully overbuy with the intention of sending items back, purely in order to qualify for the free delivery. Many people are deterred by non-refundable delivery fees, and the findings show the lengths that online shoppers will go to in order to save a few quid!”   

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