Metapack Survey: Consumer priorities are shifting, retailers must respond sharply

London, UK and El Segundo, USA – 29 November, 2018– Delivering a stand-out experience with every online interaction will increase customer loyalty over time, according to new research from Metapack. If retailers and brands understand the importance of getting the basics right, enabling customers to curate their own deliveries, and have their requirements met rapidly and to specific requirements, customers will reward them with long-term commitment and repeat orders.

These are the findings of the Metapack 2018 State of eCommerce Delivery Consumer Research Report, which shows that against the backdrop of struggling sales on the high street, the experiences that eCommerce retailers and brands can uniquely provide are helping them to stay ahead in the race for customer allegiance.

The research, which was carried out online in July 2018 with 3597 consumers of all ages in Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US, examines how the delivery choices shoppers encounter influence the purchasing decisions they make.

Key trends include:

  • 75% of consumers have purchased more items to take advantage of a minimum spend ‘free delivery’ option
  • 61% of consumers say a positive delivery experience incentivises them to shop with an eCommerce retailer again
  • 49% of shoppers would prioritise shopping with one online provider over another if it offered a loyalty programme featuring free next day delivery
  • 44% of consumers are tempted to try out new delivery options to take advantage of collection from a local pick-up point
  • 54% now say that it is somewhat, or very important, they’re able to choose which carrier delivers their online purchases
  • 77% of consumers are conscious of, or care deeply about the environment when thinking about how they receive their deliveries
  • 78% of shoppers have purchased from a luxury brand in the last 12 months

Getting the basics right reaps dividends

Most consumers now expect free delivery for their everyday purchases, and many identify slow delivery as a negative delivery experience. Retailers and brands who get the fundamentals right every time are giving themselves a competitive advantage.

  • 62% of shoppers said free delivery is the top consideration for the majority of purchases they make and 49% don’t expect to pay for standard delivery any longer
  • 70% of online consumers are prepared to pay extra to ensure speed and convenience, such as one-hour, same day or Sunday delivery
  • 82% of US shoppers had purchased more goods to take advantage of free delivery
  • 81% of Canadian and French shoppers and 80% of UK shoppers said free delivery would incentivise them to buy more online during peak sales such as Black Friday

Shopping across borders

International eCommerce has never been so popular, with shrewd consumers taking advantage of currency fluctuations to secure great deals on overseas brands. Retailers must ensure they can step up to the demands that shoppers make for superior cross-border services, including transparency over delivery costs.

  • 49% of this year’s respondents had made between one and five overseas purchases
  • The top barriers to cross-border shopping are expensive delivery (45%), slow delivery (28%) and having to pay for delivery (25%)
  • North American shoppers are most diligent about extra charges with 83% of US and 80% of Canadian consumers checking if these will be applied to the goods they order, but French (43%), German (38%) and Dutch (38%) are most likely to abandon their basket if there is an unexpected charge for taxes

Why customers come back again and again

Research this year demonstrates that delivery loyalty programmes are proving to hold strong consumer appeal.

  • Nearly half (49%) said that they would prioritise one eCommerce provider over another because of its loyalty programme, and 65% would be interested in a loyalty programme where multiple brands and retailers worked together to offer a premium delivery service with 73% of Spanish and 74% of US consumers favouring the idea
  • 25% of shoppers are planning to join a delivery loyalty programme in the coming year

Eco-conscious delivery is on the rise

Green issues are becoming more prevalent amongst consumers and the impact of online deliveries on the environment is not going unnoticed. Retailers can offer real differentiation if they provide eco-friendly delivery options such as consolidated delivery.

  • 26% care a great deal about how their online deliveries are contributing to increased carbon emissions and traffic congestion. US consumers (41%) in particular cited this as a concern
  • The number of consumers that are conscious of the issue is rising, from 47% in 2017 up to 51% this year, most notably in France (62%), the Netherlands (60%) and Germany (56%)
  • When asked why they preferred a consolidated delivery option, i.e. having all their items delivered at once, over a third (35%) said it was because multiple deliveries made them concerned about the environment

Going Luxe

Luxury brands are grasping the online opportunity and satisfying the aspirations of digital consumers. This means differentiating their delivery options and providing a premium delivery experience, whether that’s offering a two-hour delivery option or a same-day concierge service.

  • US shoppers were the most likely to engage with luxury brands online with 91% making online purchases in the last 12 month
  • Spanish (89%), French (88%) and German (86%) are also enthusiastic luxury brand purchasers, but in the UK this number drops to 76% and even lower for consumers in the Netherlands at 40%

Carrier control

Given that consumers want choice in all aspects of their online purchasing experience, it makes sense that this now extends to being able to choose the carrier that is entrusted to deliver their goods.

  • 41% of shoppers said the freedom to choose a last-mile carrier is very or somewhat important to them. This was extremely important to US (31%) shoppers, but less so for the Netherlands (5%) and UK (11%).

To download the full report, please visit

Survey methodology

The research was carried out on behalf of Metapack by Research Now, a global leader in digital data collection. Aged between 18 and 65+, all survey participants had made an online purchase in the last six months and the survey sample was designed to ensure equal respondent weighting between the seven geographic regions Canada (511), France (510), Germany (510), the Netherlands (509), Spain (510), the UK (528) and the US (511) and the age and gender of the participants. 

About Metapack

Founded in 1999, Metapack helps e-commerce and delivery professionals to meet with the consumer’s growing expectations of delivery, whilst maintaining and optimising operational efficiency. Metapack’s SaaS solution offers a wide range of personalised delivery services, from global order tracking to simplified return procedures, through a catalogue of 350 carriers and 5,000 services available that span every country in the world. Thanks to Metapack, more than 550 million packages are sent annually by many of the world’s leading e-commerce retailers. Metapack is a wholly-owned subsidiary of (Nasdaq: STMP).

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