ParcelHero: 57% of British shoppers say free shipping is key to their choice of retailer

ParcelHero: 57% of British shoppers say free shipping is key to their choice of retailer

Nine out of ten shoppers say free delivery is their number one incentive to spend more, reveals new research conducted by the e-commerce delivery specialist ParcelHero. Orders with free shipping are also 30% higher on average than those with delivery costs.

David Jinks MILT, Head of Consumer Services at ParcelHero, says its latest research reveals shoppers strongly value free shipping. A compulsory, plastic bag-style charge would significantly discourage spending online. David says:

‘What the UK economy needs now is an increase in consumer spending. People are holding on tight to their savings because they are rightly concerned about job security. Added to that is anxiety about visiting crowded stores. Astonishingly, this is the moment the Government has chosen to propose an entirely new tax on online deliveries. Retail analysts believe the compulsory delivery charge, proposed in June’s “Position Paper on Last Mile Logistics”, is likely to be a minimum of £2 an order or an additional 2% on the overall spend. Removing free deliveries is a big psychological step that could have a significant impact on consumer behaviour.

“The Government says the new charge could be applied on all consumer deliveries and returns in order to “encourage consumers to realise their true business, societal and environmental cost, and hence encourage more sustainable behaviour.”  With consumer confidence so exceptionally fragile, this move could prove disastrous. Free shipping is a significant trigger for online consumer spending and one of the few incentives encouraging shoppers to spend money. ParcelHero’s latest research reveals 57% of British shoppers say free shipping is key to their choice of retailer.

“In all, 58% of shoppers spend more online to qualify for free shopping, where it applies above a certain level, and research from web consultants Invesp shows 16% purchase a more expensive brand in order to qualify for free shipping. It’s believed that 78% of Amazon Prime members give free shipping as their main reason for joining.

“There are two reasons why it is, frankly, nonsense to claim that the delivery tax is being imposed for environmental reasons. Firstly, 50% of us actually choose the slowest – hence most environmentally friendly – delivery option if it is the only free one. Many would rather have a three or four-day delivery than a resource-consuming, next-day service if it means avoiding extra costs. Secondly, as we have continually repeated, home deliveries are far greener than shopping trips by car. The highly regarded 2009 academic report “Carbon Auditing the Last Mile” found that a dedicated car trip for a specific item produced as much as 4,274 grammes of CO2 per km. In contrast, a successful, first-time home delivery creates just 181 grammes of CO2 per km per parcel. Ending free deliveries would result in shoppers climbing back into their cars to shop in town.

“The UK’s online shoppers are in danger of being taxed ‘til the pips squeak. It is simply unfair to the huge number of elderly or shielding people who have turned to online shopping for the first time during the pandemic. It’s also important to remember that, in reality, few deliveries are actually “free”. Most online retailers have simply built the cost of delivery into the price of their items.”

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