Americans did more online shopping during the pandemic and plan to continue, even as brick-and-mortar stores reopen, according to a new survey from Ware2Go, the UPS (NYSE:UPS) founded company enabling merchants of all sizes to achieve 1- to 2-day shipping guarantees.
The survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of Ware2Go in May 2021 also found that free shipping and sustainability are powerful incentives for Americans making purchases online.
“The pandemic pushed people to take more of their business and shopping online, and now that shoppers have had a taste of that convenience, the bar for merchants has again been raised to compete and win,” said Ware2Go CEO Steve Denton. “Our research shows that shipping speed directly impacts brand loyalty and that brands have an incentive to prioritize sustainability. I’m happy to say Ware2Go can help them with both.”
The pandemic changed how we shop
A majority of Americans (79%) increased their online shopping due to the pandemic, and 89% plan to do as much or more of their shopping online, even as restrictions on in-person shopping ease. What’s more, almost a third (31%) say they have an urge to spend now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing.
The top five things Americans are most likely to purchase in-store instead of online include:
- Cleaning products
- Nutritional supplements
During the pandemic, 1 in 5 Americans preferred to keep items they were unhappy with instead of returning them, and 44% were reliant on some form of airmail to handle their returns.
Americans still love fast, free shipping
In spite of 2020’s supply chain issues, a full third of Americans say the pandemic raised their expectations for timely shipping, and 40% say it increased their expectations for free shipping. Although curbside pickup boomed during the pandemic, a majority of people only chose this option out of immediate necessity (54%) or if shipping was too expensive (40%). In fact, twice as many survey respondents preferred 1- to 2-day shipping as preferred curbside pickup.
The survey results also indicate that fast, free shipping has very real implications for brand loyalty. For example:
- When asked what retailers can do to entice them to shop more, 54% of Americans said free shipping. Other top answers included 1- to 2-day shipping (42%), loyalty points (42%), and in-store discounts (38%).
- 80% are more likely to make a purchase online if the brand offers free shipping.
- 75% are more likely to make a purchase if the brand offers shipping in two days or less.
- More than three-quarters (79%) say they are more likely to purchase from a brand again if the shipping was fast.
- 69% are more likely to click on an ad that offers fast, free shipping.
Sustainability matters to American consumers
A majority of Americans (88%) also said sustainability is an important consideration for purchasing decisions, and two-thirds (66%) said it has become more important as a result of the pandemic.
- More than half (55%) of consumers are willing to pay extra for sustainable shipping.
- Two-thirds (66%) are more likely to purchase from a brand with carbon-neutral shipping if the product and shipping costs are the same.
When asked about what sustainable practices are most important in retailers, almost half (47%) said recycled packaging. This was followed by eco-friendly shipping protocols (41%), carrying green brands (30%), promoting conversations about sustainability on social media (30%), and partnerships with green organizations (27%).
This survey comes on the heels of two relevant Ware2Go initiatives: NetworkVu, a free application that maximizes merchant delivery speeds within ground networks while controlling costs; and the Carbon Offset Shipping Network for all small parcel, LTL, FTL, and air shipments within its network. All Ware2Go clients are automatically enrolled at no cost.
Ware2Go, a UPS Company, is changing the traditional 3PL model to make 1- to 2-day delivery easy and affordable for all merchants by positioning products closer to end customers for a fast, inexpensive and reliable order-to-delivery experience. Ware2Go offers an integrated solution for warehousing, pick, pack, and shipping services to businesses of all sizes through an intuitive cloud-based technology platform that makes it easy to extend your distribution footprint and scale up and down as your operational needs change. Ware2Go simplifies nationwide fulfillment to help you meet your customers’ needs and expectations.
For more information about this press release, please contact Gabrielle Jasinski at firstname.lastname@example.org.