New Data from ShipStation Reveals Shipping’s Impact on Brand Perception

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National study showcases the direct impact a positive or negative shipping experience has on key brand metrics -- and what brands can do to get it right

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ShipStation, the world’s leading web-based e-commerce shipping solution, today released new findings from a national consumer study that outlines why the shipping experience has a lasting impression for the vast majority of shoppers. According to the report, “Last Touch, Lasting Impact: A Look at Shipping’s Impact on Conversion,” 80 percent of consumers say the shipping experience is what stands out most in their online shopping experience because it is the final touchpoint they have with a brand. Nearly 70 percent of consumers report that the majority of their shopping is now done online -- and 86 percent say that the percentage of their overall shopping done online has grown in the last year.

“Our study shows that consumers are placing more value on aspects of the customer journey outside of the in-store and online discovery experience,” said John Kinny, General Manager of ShipStation. “With nearly 100 percent of consumers considering shipping when purchasing online, even more so than other major factors like product selection, price or customer service, shipping can no longer be an afterthought for retailers.”

Additional key findings from the report include:

Shipping’s Influence and Customer Expectations on the Rise
Customer expectations are always on the rise, as seven out of 10 shoppers say they consider shipping speed and cost more today than they did just one year ago. This is even more true among younger shoppers. Millennials are 14 percent more likely to say the influence of shipping speed has increased and 10 percent more likely to say the influence of shipping cost has increased in the last year. In fact, consumers consider the speed and cost of shipping just as much as they consider factors like the retailer’s product selection, product pricing, or customer service.

The Last Touch has a Lasting Impression
Beyond satisfaction with a single purchase, the study shows the shipping experience’s influence on long-term loyalty, as 88 percent say it directly impacts whether they will be a repeat customer. And for brands that get it wrong, there’s a lot at risk, considering 90 percent of consumers say it negatively impacts their perception of the retailer, and 88 percent say it makes them less likely to purchase from that retailer again in the future.

Consumers See Shipping as a Two-Way Street
Among today’s shoppers, 72 percent say return policies directly influence their online purchase decisions. What’s more, 92 percent of consumers agree that brands should offer free returns. Even more surprising? Shoppers also want hassle-free returns as 76 percent report they consider both cost and ease when deciding whether to purchase from a retailer. But ultimately, consumers want control, with 86 percent agreeing that the returns process should be self-service, not requiring them to contact a customer service representative.

Getting it Right
Consumers place the responsibility of the shipping experience squarely on retailers, as 85 percent of consumers believe it is the responsibility of the retailer to ensure products ordered are delivered on time and as expected. This is even more evident as 75 percent of consumers say a negative shipping experience impacts their perception of the retailer more than their perception of the carrier that delivered it. However, getting it right reaps rewards. 91 percent of consumers say if a retailer acknowledges and apologizes for a bad shipping experience or offers something to make up for it—such as a promo code, etc.—they’ll still shop with them in the future. What’s more, 52 percent of consumers even say that if a retailer does something to make up for a bad shipping experience, they would post something positive about how they handled it on social media.

Seamless shipping is critical for e-commerce success. While shipping experiences directly impact consumer satisfaction and decision on whether to purchase again in the future, consumers don’t differentiate between carriers and brands. They place the ultimate responsibility for a good delivery experience on the retailers they shop with. Consumers mainly want reliability and a brand they can trust.

Providing shipping options that your unique customers want, clearly communicating expectations for delivery, and taking corrective action when things go wrong will result in excellent customer retention. For additional findings and to download ShipStation’s full report, “Last Touch, Lasting Impact: A Look at Shipping’s Impact on Conversion,” visit here.

About ShipStation
Every day, tens of thousands of e-commerce retailers rely on ShipStation to solve the day-to-day challenges of importing orders and processing shipments. The trusted leader in shipping software since its founding in 2011, ShipStation helps online sellers scale their businesses and deliver exceptional customer experiences, with an intuitive online solution that allows them to efficiently ship orders -- wherever they sell and however they ship. The multi-channel and multi-carrier platform offers the most integrations of any e-commerce solution, with more than 300 partnerships with leading shopping carts, marketplaces, carriers, and fulfillment services, including FedEx, USPS, UPS, Amazon, Shopify, and BigCommerce. ShipStation is headquartered in Austin, TX, with offices in Sydney and London, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP). For more information, visit https://www.shipstation.com.

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Joanna Weinstein
ShipStation
516-643-1256
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