New research reveals the extent of negative delivery experiences on customer loyalty, with 81.4% of Australian consumers stating they are not likely to shop with a brand again following a below par experience.
The ‘Exploring the Nuances in Ecommerce’ guide, launched by ShipStation, the world’s leading cloud-based ecommerce shipping solution, includes a survey of over 3,000 consumers and 600 online merchants across six markets.1 The research looks at the drivers and deterrents of consumer loyalty in ecommerce and found that 71% of Australian consumers rank ‘high shipping costs’ as the biggest barrier to becoming repeat customers.
Looking at customer loyalty drivers, 41% of Australian consumers rank the quality of delivery experience as a key reason why they regularly buy online from the same brand. Furthermore, affordable prices and product quality rank as the first and second most important factors for consumers. Australian merchants agree on the importance of product quality (1) and delivery quality (3) as customer retention drivers in line with consumer expectations, but disagree on the topic of affordability, with 46.6% of respondents ranking it as a key retention driver.
As ecommerce habits have evolved, the majority of consumers now take a hybrid approach to shopping, with over 73% of Australian consumers stating they shop both online and offline. Specifically, our research highlights that 66% of Australian consumers report doing over a third of their shopping online.
Apparel comes out on top when looking at ecommerce purchases, with almost 74% of Australian consumers having made an online purchase in this category over the past 12 months. DIY and Gardening is revealed to be the least popular, with 25% of consumers having bought a product in this category over the past year.
Impact of delivery options
When it comes to delivery options, consumers can be unforgiving. Over 90% of Australian consumers state that a lack of adequate delivery options can influence whether they abandon their cart at the online checkout. Breaking this down, over 60% of consumers state they will sometimes abandon their cart and 30% indicate they will quite often or always abandon their cart if their desired delivery option is not offered.
In contrast, over 38% of Australian merchants surveyed believe a lack of delivery options offered at the checkout ‘never’ prevents consumers from finalising their purchase.
David Boyer, VP, Head of Australia & New Zealand at Auctane, ShipStation’s operating group: “In today’s age of overwhelming choice, it’s never been easier for consumers to chop and change where they buy from. Unsurprisingly, in this landscape, it’s also never been more difficult for merchants to retain customers.
“There is no one right approach when it comes to running a successful ecommerce business, but as our new research highlights, the key is to understand how different consumers shop, where they shop and to learn their negotiables and non-negotiables. Only then can you get a clearer picture of how to turn potential consumers into repeat customers.
“As the online shopping experience has become synonymous with the delivery experience, consumer expectations have grown. Just one negative delivery experience can sour consumer perception of a brand and have a detrimental impact on their bottom line.
“The ecommerce market today will favour merchants who understand the opportunities and make the necessary investments in areas such as their delivery experience, omnichannel proposition and options. Those who don’t, will find life very difficult.”
Brand websites vs marketplaces
Across all the markets surveyed, the most popular to buy online is marketplaces, with almost 56% of global consumers selecting this as their preferred medium. This is a global trend that’s grown over the past few years. However, our research also reveals that Australian consumers are the exception to the rule, with only 30% choosing marketplaces as their preferred ecommerce channel. In fact, the majority of Australian consumers (56%) report a preference to shop directly on a brand’s website. Additionally, the research reveals that while social commerce is a growing industry, at present only 3% of Australian consumers consider it their preferred ecommerce buying channel.
With more people choosing to recycle and resell their unwanted items, recommerce is a rapidly growing industry for consumers, retailers and marketplaces. Our research reveals that over 43% of Australian consumers resell their old purchases/unused items on third party platforms. With almost half of shoppers utilising recommerce channels, coupled with the increasing need for everyone to be more sustainable, this industry is here to stay. There is ample opportunity for brands and marketplaces to invest in recommerce strategies and delivery experiences to meet growing consumer desire to effortlessly resell.
To find out more key insights and how you can leverage personalisation to drive consumer loyalty, download the full ‘Exploring the Nuances in Ecommerce’ guide here.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Express permission is granted for a link to ShipStation to be included in online news articles, blogs and posts.
Consumer surveys were undertaken by Attest in March/April 2023 and include answers from a sample of more than 3000 nationally representative consumers, additionally 600 Auctane customers were surveyed, across Australia, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
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