The No. 1 Factor that Makes or Breaks an Online Sale

Turns out that “free shipping” are two of the most powerful words in the ecommerce business world.

According to the UPS’s new “Pulse of the Online Shopper” survey, an astounding 93% of shoppers have taken some sort of extra step while shopping online in order to qualify for free shipping. Whether it means adding more items to a cart (58%), choosing the slowest transit time (50%), or searching for a promo code (47%), it seems that the majority of online shoppers are willing to go that extra mile to save those shipping dollars.

This opens up another discussion. Is same-day delivery really the future of shipping? Perhaps not. If this survey is any sort of indicator, it appears that most consumers would rather save money over time. In fact, more than 80 percent of customers are willing to wait an extra two days to qualify for free shipping. A third will wait more than five extra days.

It’s also important to note that consumers now expect free returns in addition to free shipping. 82 percent of the 5,800 U.S. online shoppers surveyed said that they would complete the purchase if they had the option to return the item to a store or had free return shipping, and 66 percent said they typically review a retailer’s returns policy before deciding to make a purchase.

Clearly, factors like free delivery and ease of returns are highly valued amongst today’s online shoppers. Ecommerce business owners would be wise to pay attention to these growing consumer expectations if they want to keep up with the competition.

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