Study: Consumer demands on e-commerce are changing

There’s been a change to way consumers are prioritizing their online shopping habits, according to a study by third-party logistics provider Dotcom Distribution.

Today’s consumers prioritize convenience, experience and quality above gift-like purchases and fast delivery when making online purchases, the survey of more than 1,400 online shoppers found. The survey also found there’s been a change in how consumers view brick-and-mortar stores and that consumers age plays a big role in expectations.

“With e-commerce now such an integral part of everyday life, we set out to discover what factors impact where a customer decides to spend his or her money,” Maria Haggerty, CEO of Dotcom Distribution, said. “Two years ago, the answer was quality packaging and fast delivery. In 2018, while those factors are still valued, the opportunity for brands to reach, retain and extend customers’ lifetime value lies in giving them what they want, how and when they want it.”

Here are some key findings:

More than 90 percent of respondents placed a high value on free returns when making an online purchase and 91 percent said free shipping is an influence for future purchases.

The majority shop on Amazon (44 percent) and same-day shipping is popular. Respondents who tried same-day delivery rose 19 percent compared to last year (42 percent to 23 percent). Only 25 percent of people will pay extra for faster shipping, which is a big change compared to two years ago, where 47 percent would pay as much as $9 for faster delivery, the study found.

In 2015 and 2016, nice packaging was a big component of the e-commerce experience. Data today suggests ribbons and scented boxes aren’t as popular as value added items like magnets, coupons or stickers.

About 32 percent of respondents prefer to by online over shopping in-store, but 74 percent are more likely to make a purchase if they can exchange or return a product in store.

The data also suggests there’s age discrepancy with e-commerce expectations. Younger buyers are more focused on convenience (returning in-store, fast delivery) and older consumers are more interested in value (free shipping, free returns).

For the third year in a row, the most purchased items online were clothing and apparel (77 percent), consumer electronics or technology (52 percent) and beauty products (41 percent).

To see the full study, click here.