Online Consumer Pulse: Is Same Day Delivery Important?

Same Day Delivery – is it important to online shoppers?

To nearly 24% of online buyers, the answer is “yes”.

We’ve been hearing so much about Same Day Delivery that we thought we would delve into what customers really think, need, want – and will pay for.

It depends: Products sold, Price Point & Retail Footprint are influential

Over 100,000 online buyers answered Bizrate Insights’ question on whether or not Same Day Delivery from the retailer from which they just bought was important – and nearly 24% said “yes”. Looking at the category level, you see Gifts & Flowers and Computer Software (for which purchases are often downloaded) among others driving demand. We also took a look at luxury and higher end apparel retailers with retail store locations available in many major cities and see above average demand for Same Day Delivery.

It depends: The availability of alternate choices

What online retailers also need to consider is how many customers balk or consider abandonment because same day delivery is not offered. For those customers that completed their purchase online, nearly 6% considered going elsewhere to buy for same day delivery if it wasn’t already offered (n=79,904). For those customers who abandoned at the cart or checkout, only 1.1%* did so because their order would not arrive in time for when they needed it.


Question: Please designate whether each of the following services are important to you for [this online retailer] to have available. Same day delivery; Overnight delivery; Expedited delivery (1-2 days); Flat rate shipping; Ship to a retail store; Shipping club. Answers: Yes; No. Question: What categories of products did you just purchase from [this online retailer]? n=91,076, collected April 15, 2013 – June 30, 2013.

Question: Did you consider not purchasing today because [this online retailer] doesn’t offer these options? Same day delivery; Overnight delivery; Expedited delivery (1-2 days); Flat rate shipping; Ship to a retail store; Shipping club.  Answers: Yes; No. Removed answer: This retailer already offers this. Question: What categories of products did you just purchase from [this online retailer]? n=81,764, collected April 15, 2013 – June 30, 2013

* Question: What is the primary reason that you didn’t purchase the item(s) in [this online retailer’s] shopping cart today? What is the primary reason that you didn’t complete checkout today? Answer: Order would not arrive in time n=17,168, collection January 1 – August 31, 2013

 

Other Considerations: Order arrival timing vs. Delivery Costs

Once you get past the importance of the Same Day Delivery option and customers’ consideration of abandonment, you are left facing the question of cost. Both the high cost of Same Day Delivery and which is more important to online buyers – cost or order arrival date – factor into demand. Overwhelmingly, of the nearly 130,000 online buyers we asked, most are more concerned with costs!

What are online buyers willing to pay for same day delivery? And what do they expect to pay? Most customers expect to pay more ($27.01 on average) than they would like to spend ($21.56 on average).

Question: Which of the following is most important to you when ordering online? Answers: Delivery timing; Delivery cost. n=134,646, collected April 15, 2013 – June 30, 2013.

Question: For orders containing items similar to what you bought today, what is the average shipping fee and what is the maximum amount you would pay for each service listed? Same day delivery. Average fee n=42,007, Maximum fee n=52,580 collected April 15, 2013 – June 30, 2013.

 

The Bottom Line

From what we see thus far, customers want Same Day Delivery, but at this point in time it is a too expensive, nice-to-have option rather than a requirement to win their business. Unless, of course, you are sending flowers at the last minute!

 

Do you need more information on Same Day Delivery? Just ask us for it! bizrateinsights@bizrate.com

ABOUT: Bizrate Insights works with over 6,000 online retailers worldwide to offer free comprehensive Consumer Insights and Seller Ratings surveys to verified online buyers immediately after purchase and after their order should have been received. Bizrate Insights also provides online retailers with a free Site Abandonment survey to help identify reasons for abandonment and actions to recapture sales.

 

Online Consumer Pulse: Delivery Cost vs. Delivery Timing

E-Commerce buyers have spoken. Most place a greater importance on the cost of shipping an online order versus how quickly an order will arrive.


Question asked of buyers immediately after placing an online order: Which of the following is most important to you when ordering online? Answer choices: Delivery timing; Delivery cost. (n=119,969, Q2 2013)

Bizrate Insights’ Social Media Series Part 1: Year-Over-Year Trends in Social Media Usage (2009 – 2011)

Over the past few years, Bizrate Insights has been tracking online buyers’ social media usage, and more specifically, whether they interact with retailers. As more retailers increase their social media presence, the percentage of online buyers who “like” or “follow” a retailer via social media has grown significantly. As part of its Hot Topic program, Bizrate Insights asked several questions related to online buyers’ social media usage in both 2009 and 2010. In August 2011, these questions were pulsed again, this time as part of a study with Sucharita Mulpuru of Forrester Research.

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M-commerce is picking up steam – are you on board yet?

Consumers are accessing online retail websites through their mobile phones at increasing rates! Is your site greeting them? Is it easy to navigate and does it have the functionality consumers are looking for? Or is it an exercise in futility for the visitor?

If you haven’t paid attention to the experience of your website and brand through a cell phone, then NOW is the time to do so. 56% of online buyers have an internet-enabled cell phone – and nearly a quarter of this group is visiting retail websites from a mobile phone.  This is up from ~ 17% in Q3 2009 – HUGE growth year over year.

In Q4 2010, leading shopping-related activities included browsing websites, locating nearby stores, and tracking existing orders. 14% are buying through their phones – up from 10% in 2009!

How Online Buyers use their cell phone

Almost as many customers who shop from their phone are posting items they like to Facebook. We therefore truly see mobile, social, and shopping converging among a respectable percent of customers, especially among the GenerationY and GenerationX set.

Mobile Device Outlook

Blackberry’s still rule the roost, with 27% of marketshare (defined as those who own an internet-enabled cell phone), followed closely by the iPhone at 24% in Q4 2010. This gap closed substantially compared with the previous year, however, where Blackberry had 29% of the market, while the iPhone had only 18%. Droid came in third, but most online buyers who did not own an internet-enabled cell phone are planning to get a Droid (27%), far more than the iPhone (16%). We will see how this changes given the most recent announcement by Verizon to offer the iPhone 4 in February 2011.

What type of cell phone do you currently own?

How this data can help online retailers:

Make sure that your site can be easily accessed and is legible from a < 2’’x3” screen. Be sensitive to the legibility and screen touch needs that might make order tracking and store location a challenge.

A web-enabled site will catch the most customers given the diversity of phones and the still ever-changing landscape. We are personally fans of sites that recognize that we are entering from a mobile phone and automatically adjust accordingly – removing anything that takes a long time to load and makes the rest of the page too small to read or touch.

We plan to run this Mobile Study again to continue to trend data and stay on top of consumer thoughts and intentions in the ever changing landscape. Let us know if there are specific areas or questions that interest you the most. Our goal is to make this insight into the minds of consumers as useful as possible to continue to grow ecommerce.

Bizrate Insights Hot Topic Series: What drives Customer Recommendations?

There is a continued focus within ecommerce circles on striving for the almighty customer recommendation. We hear this with respect to Net Promoter Score™*, we hear this with respect to social media, and we see this (in concert with other metrics) in our data. Therefore, in Q2 2010, Bizrate Insights surveyed online buyers to identify the Who, What, Where, and How behind customer recommendations, with a Hot Topic study. We took at look at…

  1. Who is making recommendations and how often?
  2. Which topics are driving these recommendations?
  3. Where are consumers making these recommendations?
  4. How are these conversations initiated?

When you interpret this data it is even more important than usual to apply the filter of “who are your target customers” and the maturity level of your business. Unlike many other Hot Topics, we saw more swings in demographic segments this quarter. After presenting the data, we provide some direction on what retailers can do to garner more positive recommendations and lessen the incidence of negative conversations about their brand.

Who is making recommendations and how often?

78% of customers have positively recommended websites in the past six months. This is driven by repeat buyers, but first time buyers positively recommend websites more than 60% of the time as well. Women, those under the age of 40, and those earning less than $50k annually tend to be more vocal about making positive recommendations. Fortunately, only 4% of customers report having spoken negatively about their experiences shopping online at specific retailers. This 4% is spread relatively evenly across demographics, although the topics that drive the negative conversations do differ across segments.

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Which topics are driving these recommendations?

Interestingly, “Pricing” tops the list for both positive and negative recommendation drivers. Men, first time buyers, and customers under age 45 are most polarized by this topic – they love it or hate it, and tend to be more vocal about it when they hate it. Women and higher Household Income (HHI) buyers are more likely to voice their opinion about product quality and value. Recommendation Topics

There are a few notable differences for the top of each list by category:

  • Different Top Positives:
    • Apparel, Gifts & Flowers – Product quality/value
    • Food & Drink – Product selection/availability
  • Different Top Negatives:
    • Food & Drink – High shipping rates (tied with Pricing)
    • Gifts & Flowers – High shipping rates
    • Home & Garden – Product selection/availability
    • Toys & Video Games – Delivery timing

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Where are consumers making these recommendations?

It is no surprise that 86% of positive recommendations happen in person or on the phone with someone that the buyer knows reasonably well. The percentages of those making positive recommendations via text and social media are still relatively low – only 5% each. These recommendations are driven by customers under 35 (7-18% range) and earning less than $50,000 (6-10% range) annually, so we should expect to see this percentage grow with each successive year entering the work force. We have also found that customers who more frequently recommend a website tend to use multiple forms of communication for their recommendations, with electronic (email, text and social media) at much higher percentages than those who recommend less often. Furthermore, we see that email recommendations have a higher percentage focused on sales and promotions, versus other forms of communication.

Positive Recommendations top

How are these conversations initiated?

Ideally, those with positive recommendations are proactive in making recommendations and those with something negative to say only do so when directly asked. Fortunately, customers generally tend to operate by this principal, as 53% of those with something negative to say are doing so in reaction to a conversation started by someone else.
Conversations
Groups that are leading the way to proactively speak about a retailer: women, repeat customers, the higher HHI customer, and the older customer.
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How this data can help retailers

  • Reach out to customers with negative experiences to right the wrong and recapture loyalty. In a separate Bizrate Insights study**, we found that 83% of customers who were unhappy with an online retailer and had a positive experience with Customer Support would consider buying from that same retailer again in the future.
  • Bizrate helps make this process efficient with its free Quick Response product.
  • Retailers should utilize the buzz around positive recommendations by publishing positive customer comments on their websites, in emails, and in all sales materials.
  • Use the power of your rating to instill customer confidence via the Customer Certified badge and Circle of Excellence medal (if you have won.)
  • Use custom questions on your survey to determine what is driving both your positive recommendations and negative feedback. Then work to expand the reach of the positive attributes and correct or change the perception around the negative aspects of the experience.

About this Hot Topic:

Data was collected from over 81,000 online buyers immediately after purchase across retailers from every major product category from May 1, 2010 – July 13, 2010. Bizrate Insights provides free, independent surveys for retailers to utilize to gather actionable feedback from their customers. Free surveys are offered immediately after purchase (“point of sale”), after order receipt (“fulfillment”), and prior to purchase (“abandonment”). Please contact us with any questions about this Hot Topic or any of our programs.

* Net Promoter Score is a trademarked term owned by Sat Metrics, Inc.

** Bizrate 2008 Consumer Satisfaction Study April 8-10, 2008. n=571.

Bizrate Insights Hot Topic Series:Wanted: A lower returns rate

Based on conversations with retailers, it seems that the two most frustrating events in the purchase cycle are cart abandonment and returns. Over a nine month period, Bizrate Insights looked more closely at returns in order to understand why consumers are making returns, how they are choosing to do so, and, most importantly, how some of these returns can be prevented in the future.

On average, 9% of consumers either made a return or planned to make a return. But this number is too blunt for benchmarking because the returns rate varies by product category. For example, in the Apparel, Footwear and Accessories (“Apparel”) category, the average returns rate 17%, while it is only 5% for the Health & Beauty category.

Returns By Category

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Bizrate Insights Hot Topic Series: Ecommerce Website Mass Personalization

Why personalize the ecommerce shopping experience? According to studies*, personalization based on desired consumer value propositions yields higher conversion and loyalty rates – if done properly. So what does an online retailer need to do to achieve “properly”?

In Q1 2010, Bizrate Insights ran a Hot Topic study that took a look at mass personalization of ecommerce websites. Specifically, we looked at some commonplace practices to see if online buyers like them, if they meet their needs, and how retailers are doing against these needs overall. The good news is that 77% of online customers are satisfied with what exists – meaning that what they prefer or want what retailers are doing and executing on reasonably well. Read on to see what is important and where there is room for improvement….

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The Social Media Revolution

Last week at the Shop.org Annual Summit, one of the key topics on everyone’s mind was social media. During one of the sessions, the moderator asked if there was anyone not using some form of social media (be it Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and as I looked around the room, barely any hands were raised. Retailers now have a major presence on social networking sites, have their own community forums and create their own blogs. There are jobs dedicated to coordinating and maintaining social media efforts. It’s becoming much more commonplace to visit a site and see links to the company’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

The growing prevalence of retailers on Twitter was especially apparent to me when BizRate® announced the Circle of Excellence Award winners last week. Last year at this time, we announced the winners and those retailers publicized the award on their sites, as per usual. This year, in addition to those efforts, winners immediately began blogging and tweeting the good news to their followers. Companies can get news out quickly through these channels and are able to have more of a dialogue with their customers.

While retailers have recognized the need to dedicate resources to social media efforts, there are still questions about the best way to take advantage of these new channels. In Q4 2009, BizRate Research is going to run a “Hot Topic” study on social media, in order to get a better sense of why consumers become fans of retailers on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter, or watch their YouTube videos. Is the driving force to get special deals? To find out about upcoming events? Does it engender loyalty? We’ll be taking a closer look at the social media phenomenon, and look forward to sharing the results in a few months!

Delving Into Email Marketing

Hot Topic: Email Marketing

In Q2 2009, BizRate Research ran a “Hot Topic” study on Email Marketing*, taking a look at what types of emails have the best open and site visit rates, the importance of consumers being able to control their preferences, and what types of email promotions drive purchases.

Check out some of the data highlights:

43% of consumers were not currently receiving emails from the retailer they had just purchased from. Of those who were already receiving emails, 81% were happy with the frequency. For these consumers, nearly 30% felt it is very important for them to be able to specify the topics and frequency of the emails they receive.

Open rates are high

Only 3% tend to delete an email without opening it, while 59% will open an email from the retailer they purchased from nearly every time they receive one. The emails with the best open rates are special offers (90%), and notifications about items being back in stock (71%). A little over half of consumers always visit the site after opening these types of emails. Emails with references to special occasions or holidays were not opened as frequently (only 53%) and only 34% visit the site nearly every time.

Types of email promotions

Free shipping/delivery is the email promotion with the most influence over whether a consumer will make a purchase (63%). Percent off or dollars off coupons are also popular (53% and 50%, respectively), while gift with purchase promotions have less influence (25%).

If you are interested in learning more about the “Hot Topic” program, then please contact us. We welcome suggestions for future topics – leave a comment with your ideas!

*For this Hot Topic study, 63,155 consumers submitted responses Network-wide. Survey responses were collected from April 29 – June 30, 2009.

Is Going Mobile Worth It?

Hot Topic: Mobile Commerce

One of the most buzzed about topics in the industry right now is Mobile Commerce. At the Shop.org Annual Summit last week, there was a session dedicated to this topic, and retailers were interested to hear best practices from those who currently have mobile sites up and running. A couple of the key takeaways of the session were that retailers should make sure that being in mobile makes sense for their specific customer base (don’t do it without a goal in mind), and if they decide to design a mobile app, to make sure it is something unique that no one else can do.

BizRate Research is currently wrapping up a “Hot Topic” study on Mobile Commerce. We launched questions on this topic across the majority of our Network of retailers* during Q3 2009, and we plan to pulse them again in the future to get a sense of consumer adoption.

Preliminary data shows that nearly half of online buyers (48%) currently own a cell phone with internet access. Interestingly, of those who do not have internet access on their cell phones, only 14% plan to buy an internet-enabled phone in the next year. Of those planning to buy a phone in the next year, the iPhone is the most sought after phone (29%), with Blackberry close behind (24%).

Currently, 7% of online buyers make purchases from their mobile phones, a number that is expected to rise in the coming months and years. Slightly more online buyers (13%) use their phones to browse for items or to locate products in a nearby store, while 12% are using them to track orders.

We will be posting more results after concluding our analysis, so stay tuned! If you are interested in learning more about the “Hot Topic” program, then please contact us. We welcome suggestions for future topics – leave a comment with your ideas!

*For this Hot Topic study, 101,456 consumers submitted responses Network-wide. Survey responses were collected from July 1 – September 30, 2009.