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12 January 2022, London For years consumers were used to free delivery, but rising costs are increasingly forcing online stores to charge for shipping. 

Although high shipping costs are the reason why the majority of online shoppers (61%) may abandon their shopping cart, at the same time their willingness to pay is growing. New research by Sendcloud among 1,000 UK consumers found that the highest cost customers say they are willing to pay for an order of £50 has increased by 80p to £5.10 from £4.30 last year.

Consumers increasingly pay for shipping

Two-thirds (65%) of consumers expect shipping costs to increase this year due to inflation. How much consumers are willing to pay for delivery depends on the order value of their order – £4.70  for a £15 order and £6.80 for a £150 order. 

“Consumers have long been spoiled with free shipping, despite this being a roadblock for many online retailers. When a free shipping option exists, many consumers would quickly choose this over the paid for shipping option,” said Rob van den Heuvel, CEO and co-founder at Sendcloud. 

“We now see a clear shift in consumer behaviour. Consumers are quite willing to contribute to shipping costs, although the price can be a dealbreaker. Giants like H&M are therefore increasingly charging shipping costs for small orders, and our expectation is that many online retailers will follow their example.” 

Free shipping is popular, but consumers are increasingly conscious 

While the willingness to pay for shipping is growing, free shipping remains as popular as ever. As many as 70% of UK shoppers are willing to add an extra product in exchange for free shipping. Moreover, free wins over speed: the research shows 77% of consumers prefer free over fast delivery while just 23% prefer fast over free delivery. 

While ‘free’ remains a buzzword when it comes to shipping, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the ecological consequences of delivery. 40% of consumers believe unsustainable delivery should be more expensive. Findings also demonstrated that the majority (76%) of consumers feel shipping costs should be cheaper if a consumer is willing to wait longer.

About The E-commerce Delivery Compass

The E-commerce Delivery Compass was conducted by Nielsen among 9,004 participants from nine countries (Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States). The full report provides insight into the newest trends in e-commerce logistics and will be published on 26 January 2023. 

About Sendcloud

Sendcloud is an all-in-one shipping platform for e-commerce businesses that want to scale. It is our mission to empower online retailers to compete by optimizing the full shipping journey from checkout to returns. Our solution turns e-commerce logistics from a bottleneck into an accelerator, making shipping a competitive advantage.

Founded in the Netherlands in 2012, Sendcloud has quickly become one of the fastest growing scale-ups and leading shipping solutions in Europe, with more than 23,000 customers across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria. Customers range from small to enterprise-sized online retailers and in industries from fashion and electronics to food & drink.

Daniëlle Elbertse

Daniëlle Elbertse works as a Marketing Specialist at Sendcloud. With her expertise in the field of IT and e-commerce logistics, she helps online retailers optimize their shipping strategy.