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E-commerce statistics – From eBay to Etsy, more people are breaking out their smartphones and laptops to shop. A rise in online shopping means a rise in parcel deliveries. This increase in the volume of packages in circulation has pushed UK retailers, delivery companies, and consumers to view the delivery process in new ways. 

If you’re curious about changing viewpoints, market conditions, and delivery trends, you’re in the right place. 

This year, we surveyed 1003 consumers across the UK to learn more about shifting consumer needs and expectations in regards to e-commerce logistics and online shopping.

Read on to explore the latest e-commerce facts and figures. 

E-commerce is becoming many shoppers favourite way to shop 

Since COVID-19 hit, online shopping behaviour has changed extensively. Following lockdown, more and more shoppers are discovering the ease and convenience of an online shop. No long bus rides to the shops. No hectic high-street crowds. No sore feet at the end of a shopping spree. 

The rise of online shopping means more sales opportunities. But it also means more competition. As an online retailer, you need to make sure you’re aware of exactly what your customers expect from your brand when it comes to shipping. 

And if you own a brick-and-mortar shop, it’s time to get online. Many shoppers expect their favourite brands to offer an omni-channel model, so they can easily shop in-store and online. 

No matter which category you’re in, you need to understand your target customers’ delivery expectations. Here’s what UK consumers are looking for in the months ahead. 

The biggest e-commerce statistics and delivery trends for 2022

What do shoppers expect from e-commerce delivery in 2022? You’ll get a snapshot of our latest research insights in this post. 

If you want to explore the facts and figures in more detail, please also make sure to download our full report. 

In this article, we’ll cover the most important e-commerce statistics and insights in the following areas:

  • The checkout experience and cart abandonment
  • The link between shipping costs and cart abandonment 
  • The importance of green packaging and delivery
  • Expectations around delivery times 
  • The ins-and-outs of customer retention 

Beyond market insights, you’ll also get ideas on how to optimise your store’s user experience to help boost your sales.

E-commerce statistics #1: the connection between cart abandonment and unexpected shipping costs 

Cart abandonment is many online store’s biggest beef. And sadly, it’s at an all-time high. 

But why does it happen?

Our research highlights that cart abandonment is mainly driven by high shipping costs: 

  • Expensive, unexpected shipping costs are still the biggest reason UK shoppers ditch their carts. 69% of online shoppers say that excessively high shipping costs are the biggest reason for cart abandonment.
  • The maximum shipping costs for standard delivery are: £4.10 for an order value of £15 , £4.30 for an order value of £50, and £5.60 for an order value of £150.
  • How much should you charge? That depends on your demographic. 18 – 39-year-olds are happy to pay over 40% more for shipping than people who are over 60.
  • High shipping costs aside, 12% of UK shoppers said they’d abandon the checkout if an online store didn’t use their preferred delivery company. However, shoppers still prefer being able to choose their favourite couriers to help ensure the fast, reliable delivery of their package. 

Action tip #1: Remain transparent with your delivery information

How do you tackle high cart-abandonment rates? The best thing you can do is be transparent and clear with shipping costs before people enter the checkout process. 

In addition, to create a great, conversation-promoting checkout experience, you need to cover several other bases: 

  • Be upfront with your shipping and delivery information. Have a separate page for shipping and delivery information. In addition, you should also include shipping and delivery FAQs on your FAQ page. 
  • Provide a flexible range of payment, courier, and delivery options to suit different customer needs.
  • Make sure checkout is fast, seamless, and glitch free. Provide auto-fill functionality for payment and address details. 

E-commerce statistics #2: free shipping isn’t the be-all and end-all

Many people in the e-commerce industry hype up the value of free shipping for boosting conversions and customer retention. But this strategy isn’t as straightforward as it seems. 

While many customers do want free shipping, they don’t necessarily expect it with every order. In addition, different customers value other aspects of shipping more. Many prize a fast, hassle-free delivery and the ability to choose their courier. 

Here are the biggest takeaways from our research: 

  • Delivery times can matter almost as much as shipping cost. 42% of UK consumers say they’d ditch their cart if the package delivery is too slow. 
  • 71% of British shoppers aren’t happy if there isn’t the opportunity to self-select a delivery time frame.
  • You don’t have to offer free shipping straight off the bat. 68% of people are happy to add another item to their cart to reach a free shipping threshold. 

As our research shows, free shipping isn’t the only way to win your visitors over. Focus on providing speedy, reliable delivery, and a range of time slots. 

Action tip #2: Utilise free shipping strategically

  • Don’t rush to offer free shipping. You can boost your average order value by offering free shipping to shoppers who reach a certain order value threshold. 
  • People want flexibility. Provide a range of shipping options, from next-day delivery to specified delivery slots. 
  • Always be upfront about your delivery times and shipping costs. Transparency wins customers. 

E-commerce statistics #3: Meet customers demand for green delivery

Many people are becoming increasingly concerned about our impact on the environment. And the pressure is on from Gen Z and Millennials. 60% of 18 – 40-year-olds say that the rise of online shopping is a problem for the environment. 

83% of shoppers say they’d choose green delivery where possible. However, 48% of UK shoppers say that, while they prefer ‘green delivery’, they wouldn’t pass up on a great store that does not offer it. 

When asked: “Would green (CO2 neutral) delivery affect your online purchasing decision?”, Boomers show significantly more disinterest in green delivery than Generation Z (10%), Millennials, and Generation X. 

Aside from off-setting carbon emissions with green shipping, many shoppers have gripes about poor packaging choices. 80% of shoppers say that packaging materials should be fully recyclable. While 75% say that e-commerce stores use too much packaging with their orders (maybe it’s time to rethink that extra roll of bubble wrap!).  

Green considerations are big for retail and e-commerce in 2022. Environmental concerns are only set to rise in the coming years. As a retailer, you need to keep up with the latest sustainable retail trends and consumer expectations. 

Action tip #3: Consider a sustainable e-commerce strategy

To draw in environmentally-conscious customers and build your sustainability profile – endeavour to use less packaging, use eco-friendly packaging, and offer green delivery. 

Share these practices across your website, social media channels, and email list to make sure your prospects and customers know what you’re up to! 

E-commerce statistics #4: The COVID hangover 

We’re all over the COVID and lockdown references. But we can’t deny the impact on their e-commerce world, so please forgive us for sneaking them in this post. COVID has led to a surge in online shopping. 

Moreover, many consumers plan to uphold their digital-shopping habits now that the world is opening up again. 79% of shoppers said they will continue to shop online, rather than in-store after COVID-19. 

Action tip #4: Combine the channels you sell on 

If you want to continue to bring in customers looking for their next online shopping fix, you need to focus on several areas: 

  • More people are using their favourite social media websites to shop. In fact, UK consumers are the most frequent purchasers through social media in Europe, with 27% saying they’ve made a purchase through a social media platform in the past 6 months. Make sure you’re sharing your newest products and bestsellers across accounts used by your target audience. Use trending hashtags and giveaways with other brands and influencers to boost your reach. 
  • Level up your SEO. As more and more people head online to find new online stores and the best deals, your SEO game is more important than ever to ensure you get found. Make sure your content and website copy includes competitive, local, long-tail keywords. Continue to regularly update your blog content to ensure your ranking for the most competitive keywords. 
  • Increase your conversions by sharing social proof, such as your best reviews, across your site. 

E-commerce statistics #5: Local e-commerce stores vs the e-commerce giants 

How often do you expect shoppers to say, “I’d rather buy from a local online store than from big online stores or marketplaces like Amazon.” 

Turns out, no matter how unanimous you think the big brands’ claim to the e-commerce market is, UK consumers still prefer to shop from local online stores. 76% of UK shoppers say they’d pick a local store over one of the e-commerce giants. 

Action tip #5: Combine a local strategy with the power of marketplaces

Despite people’s desire to shop local, the smartest approach is to tap into 

Amazon’s extensive audience, while still focusing on building the reputation of your own online store. Here’s how to bring in customers using both: 

  • Ensure that your store is featured in local business directories. For example, make sure your Google My Business listing is up-to-date and comprehensive. 
  • Connect with the local community: find local business networks, local Facebook groups, and local events where you can make connections with people in the surrounding community. 
  • Help guarantee your products get found on Amazon by investing in Amazon marketing. You can boost your products’ visibility by using their ‘Suggested Brands’ and ‘Suggested Products’ ad features that show products to shoppers with related interests. 

E-commerce statistics #6: use reliable couriers to ensure customer retention 

When asked what would make them not want to order again from an online store, 64% of UK consumers said they’d avoid a store if they didn’t receive their order. In addition, 58% wouldn’t return to a store if an item arrived damaged. 

Consumers valued reliable, trustworthy stores. This means delivering a product on-time and in great condition. Even one unfortunate mess up can undermine your reputation and relationship with your customers. 

Action tip #6: Consider the delivery companies you work with

Aside from badly-wrapped packages or the use of a questionable courier, it’s often not your fault if a package goes missing or gets damaged on its way to your customer. 

How can you help avoid this worst-case scenario when it comes to customer retention?

  • Use well-regarded couriers such as Royal Mail, DPD, and Hermes.
  • Ensure all your items are adequately wrapped and that your packages are correctly labelled (e.g. label delicate items with ‘fragile’ labels). 
  • Make sure your customer service team is responsive and apologetic when they are contacted about delays and damaged or missing items. Great customer service can rebuild trust and help convince a customer to return to your store. 

Want more insights from our new market research on UK consumers?

From missing parcels to shipping costs, download our full report to find out more insights into UK consumers’ expectations from e-commerce brands. Learn more about the value of going green, future trends, key marketing insights, and more, and put them into play to help grow your store in 2022 and beyond. 

Download our new report now to find out more about UK consumer behaviours towards online shopping and shipping.

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