Customers abandon carts on delivery choices: study

MetaPack’s Delivering consumer choice: 2015 state of ecommerce delivery report highlights the increasingly crucial role delivery plays in influencing which retailer a consumer chooses to shop with.

It found that 66 per cent of the 3,000 adults surveyed said they’d opted to buy from one retailer over another because the product could be delivered in a more convenient manner. Meanwhile, 51 per cent of shoppers said they had failed to complete an online order because of delivery options and 49 per cent said  they’d been happy to pay more for a better or more convenient delivery option

“This clearly highlights how ecommerce Directors that continue to focus solely on making changes to front-end website capabilities are missing out on an increasingly obvious and more significant opportunity to drive conversion – providing delivery services that meet each customer’s personal, complex demands,” said Kees de Vos, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, MetaPack.

Over half (51 per cent) of shoppers confirm they’d failed to complete an online order due to poor delivery options, citing, among other reasons, that delivery could not be guaranteed by a certain date (30 per cent) or would take too long to fulfil (44 per cent).

Furthermore, 76 per cent of shoppers viewed a retailer’s return options before placing an order, with 51 per cent saying they had failed to proceed with a purchase because the returns process offered was not easy or convenient for them.

In terms of what consumers expect from online retailers, 83 per cent say they want delivery options displayed clearly on the product page itself. And when it comes to convenience, 86 per cent of shoppers want fast delivery and 83 per cent say they now expect a guaranteed delivery date. A further 80 per cent go on to say they also expected a dedicated time slot to be given.

When it comes to the range of delivery options used, today’s shoppers utilise a range of services in addition to home delivery, which remains universally popular with all consumers; 90 per cent of survey respondents had used this option in the last six months.

Collect in store topped the list of alternatives to home delivery, and is most popular with UK (47 per cent) and US shoppers (33 per cent). Delivery to a local shop or pick-up point was the second most popular choice – especially for 48 per cent of French shoppers – yet just 17 per cent of US consumers chose to use this option.

By contrast, requesting delivery to their place of work is most popular with Spanish (14 per cent) and German consumers (12 per cent) but is least likely to be used by shoppers in France (6 per cent) and the Netherlands (9 per cent). Finally, delivery to a locker, while least popular with most shoppers across Europe and the US, is a preference for 20 per cent of consumers in Germany, who said they have used such a service in the last six months.
A negative delivery experience can turn shoppers off using a retailer again. Over half of Spanish consumers (51 per cent) would never shop with a retailer again following a poor experience and are the most likely to broadcast their displeasure via social media; 52 per cent of Spanish respondents confirm they’ve used social media to share a less than positive experience.

Similarly, German (49 per cent), UK (49 per cent) and Dutch (47 per cent) shoppers would never use a retailer again following a bad delivery experience; by comparison just 36 per cent of French shoppers and 38 per cent of US consumers would elect to withdraw their loyalty from a retailer.

Consumers are eager to know the status of their online order, with 88 per cent of all respondents confirming they rely on mail or SMS mobile notifications to check progress. Knowing what’s happening to their order is particularly important for consumers in Spain (92 per cent) the US (91 per cent) and Germany (91 per cent); shoppers in Spain and the US are particularly active in this respect, with 18 per cent and 22 per cent respectively checking their order status four or more times.

 When it comes to delivery priorities, today’s consumers want the ability to ‘personalise’ delivery to meet their specific needs in relation to each purchase they make. So, while fast delivery is a priority for 86 per cent of all respondents, 78 per cent said they would wait longer if the goods they’d purchased were less expensive. Meanwhile, being able to trust a retailer to deliver when they say they will was a key priority for one third (30 per cent) of all respondents.

Low cost delivery is a priority for 49 per cent of UK consumers and 47 per cent of US consumers. While Dutch shoppers are least worried about low cost delivery, fast delivery proved most important; compared to 16 per cent of UK shoppers, 30 per cent of Dutch consumers rated this as most important.

Spanish and Dutch consumers have high expectations that a retailer will honour its delivery promises; 38 per cent of Spanish consumers and 34 per cent of Dutch consumers rated this as most important for the majority of their online purchases.


When asked what delivery services they’d most likely use in the future, there was little appetite for a direct delivery service into a shopper’s car boot or trunk; the option was popular with just 7 per cent of US consumers and 8 per cent of French consumers. The much publicised delivery by drone concept garnered a little more enthusiasm, primarily with US (10 per cent) and German (8 per cent) shoppers.

Having goods delivered to a secure box outside their home, however, proved a winning concept for 21 per cent of US shoppers, while delivery to a secure locker was a popular option for German (15 per cent) and Spanish (11 per cent) shoppers. Meanwhile, pick up of a delivery at a train station proved the most appealing for French shoppers (13 per cent).

UK highlights from the report include:

  • 64 per cent of UK respondents said that they had bought goods from one retailer over another because they provided more delivery options
  • 48 per cent have paid more for goods because the delivery options were better or more convenient
  • 62 per cent of UK consumers have not completed an online order because delivery was not free
  • More UK consumers (38 per cent) than any other region surveyed failed to complete an order because in-store pick-up was unavailable
  • Whilst free delivery was important for the vast majority of UK consumer’s purchases (88 per cent), it was lower than any other region surveyed
  • UK consumers (83 per cent), however, are happier than any other region to wait longer for their delivery if the goods are less expensive

To download the full report, please visit: