Deloitte: Consumers Demand Free Delivery For Online Orders

Consumers are insisting that retailers provide them with free delivery in the gift buying season, according to Deloitte’s 32nd annual holiday survey of consumer spending intentions and trends.

The survey indicated that the majority of holiday spending among survey respondents will occur online, with shoppers putting 51% of their budgets toward online purchases versus 42% intended for brick and mortar stores. Online shopping destinations are the preferred venue among all age groups and income levels in the survey. 

Deloitte stated that not only is free shipping favored but also paying extra for faster delivery is unpopular.

Free shipping, 88% of survey respondents said, is more important than fast shipping, which only proved preferential to 12%. Fast shipping, 54% of the respondents said, is two days or less. Only 35% of consumers consider three to four day shipping fast, down from 42% last year and 63% in 2015. And 64% of respondents said they would not be willing pay extra for two-day shipping. However, consumers did indicate they would pay, on average, just under four dollars to guarantee next-day delivery.

Of surveyed consumers, 72% said they would take advantage of free shipping offers this season. As for crunch-time shoppers, 65% said they should be allowed to order after December 17 and still get free shipping. And 43% of consumers plan to buy items online and pick them up in-store this holiday season. Saving on shipping charges, at 62%, is the top reason to buy online and pick up in-store, followed by getting an item faster, at 48%.