11 Ecommerce Shipping Statistics that Every Shopify Merchant Should Know
Every successful Shopify merchant knows that shipping must be treated as much more than an afterthought during the development of your store.
The ability to fulfill orders efficiently, quickly and without any surprises can help make or break a store — and a poor shipping experience will quickly alienate your customers.
So, shipping is a priority.
But what do the ecommerce shipping statistics say?
Should you be offering free shipping or not?
How can you increase conversions based on your shipping policies?
Could your order fulfillment processes be stunting your store’s growth?
A quick look at a few key ecommerce shipping statistics backs up the importance of getting the logistics part of your operations right.
In this post, we’ll look at 11 eye-opening ecommerce shipping statistics that might just convince you to take another look at your shipping policies and procedures.
The lack of free shipping stops many shoppers from purchasing
In a survey published at the end of 2019, 68% of over 1,000 U.S. online shoppers said that they didn’t make a purchase more than half of the time if the brand didn’t offer free shipping. That means reduced sales and more cart abandonment.
This should be an alarming ecommerce shipping statistic for any Shopify merchant not offering free shipping. There are many ways to introduce a fast and free shipping model affordably — and these should be investigated.
Lack of a clear delivery date prevents purchases
In the same survey referred to above, 20 percent of those surveyed said that they didn’t place an order because the delivery date was unclear.
So, not only does the lack of free shipping prevent sales and reduce revenue but the failure to be transparent and tell shoppers exactly when a package will show up on their doorsteps has the same effect.
In one survey, 53 percent of shoppers said they would not purchase from a retailer without knowing when their package would be shipped, while 54 percent claimed they would make repeat purchases if the retailer was open about the delivery date.
You can boost your service and your sales by providing clarity — and you can do this by collaborating with trusted shipping apps and providers.
Almost half of shoppers say that same-day delivery makes them more likely to shop online
If you really want to encourage sales, offer same-day shipping from your Shopify store.
According to this Invesp conversion optimization infographic, 49 percent of shoppers say that same-day delivery makes them more likely to shop online.
The same graphic says that 56 percent of online shoppers between the ages of 18 and 34 expect same-day delivery. Also, of the 80 percent of shoppers who would like same-day delivery, 61 percent want to receive their packages within three hours of placing an order!
To meet the growing demands for instant gratification and lack of shopper patience, these ecommerce shipping statistics suggest that it’s a great idea to offer same-day delivery if you can.
Almost a quarter of shoppers would spend more to access free shipping
One interesting ecommerce shipping statistic that you might not expect is that 24 percent of shoppers would spend more to access free shipping.
This is backed up by another stat from the Invesp infographic referred to above, where it says that 61 percent of respondents who expect same-day delivery would be prepared to pay for the privilege of express delivery.
Slow shipping reduces sales
From the same Digital Commerce 360 survey referred to in the first ecommerce statistic above, 44 percent of those surveyed said that they hadn’t placed an order because it wouldn’t arrive on time.
So, even if shipping is free and the purchase has a clear arrival date, people are deterred from checking out because they believe their shipment won’t arrive on time. This suggests that many stores have not optimized their shipping options for their customers.
Free shipping is considered more important than fast shipping by shoppers
Fast shipping (generally two days or less) may be considered important by shoppers — but it’s not as important as free shipping.
A Deloitte study found that 88 percent of survey respondents prefer free shipping over receiving packages faster (12 percent).
For free shipping, 66 percent were prepared to wait 3-7 days for their merchandise.
A top-of-the-website “free shipping” banner improves conversions
According to tests conducted at ShipBob, the only sitewide banner that works to improve conversions above the navigation menu is a banner promoting “free shipping”.
Free shipping guarantees increase the average order value by removing the possibility of surprises at checkout, making the shopper more comfortable adding to their carts and proceeding with their purchases.
It’s also worth noting that “free shipping” is a great message to share across all your marketing channels, including email marketing and social media.
Minimum spend thresholds for free shipping are effective for upselling
Shipping can get expensive and another “giveaway” may seem like an unnecessary erosion of profits.
However, it’s better to offer free shipping and make the costs back by increasing the order size than to charge for shipping and add a nasty surprise at checkout.
By being upfront about this and saying “free shipping over $75” or something similar, you can increase profits rather than eat into them.
(This is not really an ecommerce shipping statistic — more of a tip — but we’re fairly sure you won’t sue us 😊)
Free shipping can increase average order value by 97 percent
In a ShipBob case study, an apparel brand partnered with the shipping app to provide two-day express shipping for free.
Offering that shipping option increased the brand’s average order value (AOV) from $75 to $148 — which represents a 97 percent increase. Pretty impressive!
Distributing your inventory can reduce shipping costs by one quarter
Shipping can be a huge expense for Shopify stores. In the U.S., many Shopify stores address this issue by distributing their inventory, i.e., they split inventory across multiple fulfillment center locations, closer to where their customers are located.
By analyzing historical data, you can work this out relatively easily and this strategy has been shown to reduce shipping costs by 25 percent.
This statistic should be the spur to find new ways to reduce shipping costs and pass the savings on to customers. That’s a great way to differentiate your business from competitors and some estimates suggest that distributing inventory can lead to 13 percent savings on the bottom line.
Regular order communication is essential for Shopify stores
It was established a long time ago that over 80 percent of shoppers expect regular order communication and some type of support during the customer journey. This should be the minimum standard of service from your Shopify store.
It’s basic to inform customers about where their order is once they’ve placed their order — especially if they’ve already paid for it. This was highlighted during the pandemic when deliveries were commonly held up through no fault of the stores themselves,
Those stores that fared the best were the ones that communicated with their customers and kept them informed about the status of their deliveries.
Now, with the technology to track deliveries easily available, every store should be looking to adapt their order communication strategies to include package tracking information and enhance post-sale customer support to keep their customers happy.
Get your shipping right to boost repeat sales
These ecommerce shipping statistics suggest that without a sound logistics strategy, your store could struggle to meet customer expectations and this will impact repeat sales and hinder growth,
Poor shipping policies seriously impact cart abandonment rates now that customers invariably expect free and fast shipping. It’s a constant challenge for many stores.
But, to offset the costs of providing free shipping, you can get creative with bundles, upsells and/or a minimum spend threshold in exchange.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great shipping apps for Shopify to help get your shipping right.
Apps like EasyShip, ShipBob. Shippo, Shipping Rates and many others can help you look after the order fulfillment and logistics operations side of the business without you having to break too much sweat.