The survey polled consumers on attitudes toward shipping through all channels, including in store, online, catalog, and phone.
Retailers hoping to win sales this holiday season should prepare to accommodate the new set of parameters that add up to delivering a satisfying customer experience for today's consumer.
"Shipping has become a considerable factor in consumers' buying choices. In fact, there's now a blurred line between the decision on a shipping method and the selection of a product when comes to the overall buying decision and customer experience and free shipping is just table stakes today," said Jim Hendrickson, vice president and general manager of shipping solutions, Pitney Bowes. The survey found free shipping is by far more important to Americans surveyed over fast shipping (77 percent vs. 19 percent). That number spikes further among those who've shipped a purchase in the last year (82 percent vs. 16 percent, respectively).
The National Retail Federation forecasts holiday sales will rise 3.9 percent to $602.1bn - a slight improvement from last year. Projections from eMarketer says 2013 U.S. retail ecommerce holiday season sales will grow about 15.1 percent to $61.8bn, up from $53.7bn in 2012. With that, the Pitney Bowes survey found nearly half of Americans (47 percent) are paying more attention to shipping as part of the overall shopping experience now compared to three years ago.
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