20 Statistics that Show the Importance of Same-Day Delivery
The order fulfillment industry faces new challenges seemingly everyday. Often, these challenges are inspired by the practices initially adopted by ecommerce giants like Amazon, which customers then begin to expect from other retailers.
Case-in-point: Same-day and next-day shipping.
Originally adopted by Amazon and other online retailers, it has become the norm for much of the industry, even as smaller retailers and operations struggle to keep up with the increased demands on their equipment, processes, and personnel. Operations large and small are all trying to figure out ways to meet the delivery options expected by customers—or else lose business to a competitor.
Are you looking to improve your operation’s delivery times to better serve your customers? We can help you think through your options.
Below are 20 key statistics about delivery that can help provide perspective for your business when it comes to the importance of timely, efficient delivery options for consumers.
Parcel Delivery Statistics
1. 73% of people reported that they were shopping online more in 2020 than they did in previous years. (Source)
Of those respondents, 88% expect that they will continue to ship online at this new, higher rate.
This increase has translated into tremendous increases in the total number of parcels processed and delivered (see below.)
2. In 2020, the total volume of parcels shipped in the United States hit 20 billion. (Source)
Parcel delivery has been on the uptrend for a number of years, especially as ecommerce continues to grow in popularity. That being said, 2020 was a “pull forward” year, as the coronavirus pandemic (and subsequent lockdowns) forced many buyers to shop online more frequently, and some for the first time ever. 2021 looks to be another strong year of growth as online shopping has become an ingrained behavior for many.
This translates into revenue of roughly $171 billion directly tied to parcel delivery. It includes parcels that were shipped business to customer (B2C), business to business (B2B), and returns (consumer to business; C2B).
3. Viewed another way, total parcel delivery volume increased by an estimated 70% during 2020. (Source)
It’s estimated that before 2020, parcel delivery accounted for roughly 5% of the total volume handled by the postal service.
4. The most popular categories for online purchases include: Clothing, household items, groceries, cleaning supplies, and electronics. (Source)
67% of survey respondents noted that they purchased clothing online, while 60% noted household items, 56% groceries, 51% cleaning supplies, and 49% electronics.
The increase in online shopping for everyday, household and grocery items is one of the key driving factors behind the increase in parcel shipments worldwide because these purchases tend to be made regularly, often in a recurring fashion.
Ecommerce Delivery Statistics
Online retail and same-to-next-day delivery has been an increasing trend and continues to rise. In 2014, a McKinsey report on logistics trends highlighted same-day delivery as “the next evolutionary step in parcel logistics,” and since that writing, that prediction has certainly come to pass.
With supply and demand only increasing since then, how impactful are delivery options when it comes to business perspectives? Here are a few statistics:
5. In 2020, e-commerce sales accounted for 18 percent of all retail spending worldwide. (Source)
The massive increase in ecommerce is outpacing the growth of overall retail sales. It’s expected that ecommerce’s share of the pie will increase to 21.8% by 2024.
6. Nearly half of consumers (44%) stated they were willing to wait for two days for orders delivered via fast shipping. (Source)
This represents the results of a U.S. consumer survey regarding fast shipping of online deliveries. Nearly half of consumers said they were willing to wait within two days for a delivery as opposed to a quarter of consumers who said they would wait within 3-4 days. This 20% drop off illustrates the importance and expectation that most consumers have when it comes to standard two-day shipping.
As big-name retailers such as Amazon prioritize same- and next-day shipping times and customers get more and more accustomed to faster delivery, this number is expected to decrease further.
7. The Holiday season continues to be the leading shopping season—and online shopping during that time is only increasing, as 57% of consumers shifted their purchases through online channels last year alone. (That includes all generations, except seniors, preferring online formats to physical store formats when making purchases). (Source)
Not surprisingly, mobile usage for online shopping has increased, as more retailers are pushing the importance of pre-Thanksgiving sales. In fact, that same report found that early shoppers are expected to spend roughly 28% more than late shoppers. If you’re concerned about how your operation will perform during peak holiday season, there are still steps that you can take to get your facilities and personnel ready.
8. That survey also found 56% of GenXers and 55% of Millennials prefer online formats to physical stores. (Source)
GenX and millennials prefer online formats, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, however, online formats are a strong preference across all generations as well. That preference remains in line with the higher share of online channel spending trends during the holiday season, so the importance of online channels during the busy holiday season cannot be stressed enough—across all ages.
Same-Day Delivery Statistics
From a business perspective, it’s easy to see how online shopping has become a standard practice for most consumers. It has also given rise to a demand for more advanced shipping options promising faster and faster delivery:
9. More than 70% of consumers cite convenience (77%) and free shipping (72%) as their top reasons to shop online. (Source)
Over 60 percent of that same group also noted the time saving benefits and home delivery of online shopping was a key factor in making purchasing decisions as well.
10. 41% of consumers are willing to pay a charge for same-day delivery while nearly a quarter (24%) of shoppers said they would pay more to receive packages within a one-or two-hour window of their choosing. (Source)
The increased emphasis on same day delivery and shorter windows when it comes to delivery options has many leading consumer companies and their shippers re-evaluating everything from caps on the numbers of packages shipped to pricing schemes in general.
11. This has led to a greater emphasis on shipping benefits as well, as 72% of Amazon Prime users cite unlimited free delivery as the most important benefit of the service. (Source)
This report took input from more than 22,000 consumers in 27 territories. In addition to showing the importance of free shipping, it also provides an insight into shoppers’ expectations when it comes to delivery. That trend isn’t ending anytime soon either, as one-quarter of users say they value Prime’s free two-hour delivery option.
12. Beyond Amazon, 61% of U.S. and 68% of Canadian shoppers said free delivery (in general) is their top consideration for most purchases they make. (Source)
This data from the 2018 State of eCommerce Delivery Consumer Research Report: North American Insights examines exactly how delivery choices influence online purchasing options for consumers. As previously mentioned, more delivery options—and more importantly—faster delivery options are a key factor when consumers make online purchases.
13. That same report revealed 82% of consumers in the U.S. were willing to have purchased more items in order to take advantage of a minimum spending ‘free delivery’ option. (Source)
Furthermore, the report revealed 79% of consumers in Canada and 75% worldwide stated similar responses. This aligns with the previous statistic on Amazon Prime where consumers consider delivery options as the highest value with the service.
14. Consumers say that digital retailers often meet their delivery speed expectations nearly 50% of the time (45%). (Source)
Consumers expect online orders to be shipped and delivered to their doors as soon as possible, however, with an increasing demand for online orders, the strains on parcel delivery and shipping companies has become more intense. This report, however, shows that consumers’ expectations are being met at a reasonable rate in the face of higher demands with shorter windows for delivery.
15. 42% of customers report they were previously impacted by a breach of personal information, while 38% say they are somewhat likely to allow a retailer to digitally identify them in-store for special promotions and offers. (Source 1, Source 2)
Data breaches are cause for concern for anyone accessing information online. The same could be said for consumers, however, most are willing to forgive data breaches if the company took appropriate action. Consumers also note they would continue doing business with that company if they simply changed their payment method as well.
16. In return for sharing personal data, 61% of customers say they want some sort of promotion in return. (Source)
Business owners have always been pressured to find incentives to attract customers and the same can be said for online retail. Personal data such as location and basic contact information has become standard practice when visiting virtually all retail websites. Most consumers are willing to share that information, if a promotional incentive is provided.
17. The high demand for same-day delivery cannot be overstated, however, most retailers are falling short of this expectation with just over 50% offering same-day shipping. (Source)
Compare this statistic with over 75% of consumers desiring same-day shipping and there is a significant gap. This gap, however, offers a chance for significant growth and opportunity, as a greater emphasis in specifying the expected time for delivery can help measure and weigh consumer expectations.
18. What do consumers consider fast shipping? According to 97% of consumers, same-day shipping is considered “fast” while 95% consider next day shipping to be “fast”. (Source)
Consumer expectations for fast shipping are generally within the same-day or next-day delivery categories, however, (as previously mentioned) business owners can seize this opportunity by considering that consumers are willing to pay more for faster delivery options. It’s also important to note that consumers greatly value more delivery options when choosing a company or purchasing a product.
19. Only 20% of consumers were willing to forgive retailers for delivery disruptions due to supply chain issues in 2021. (Source)
This number was significantly higher during the onset of the supply chain issues in 2020, when long delivery times became the norm for everyone. As the challenges have dragged on, however, firms with the ability to meet customer demands faster have been rewarded, and those unable to meet customer expectations have fallen further behind. Simply put, consumers are no longer willing to tolerate supply chain issues as they were.
20. 46% of consumers ranked reliability as one of the top attributes they look for when choosing a brand or retailer to purchase from. (Source)
Once a brand has proven themselves to be unreliable—for example, by losing a shipment, missing a delivery date, etc.—many customers are reluctant and even unwilling to give that same retailer a second chance.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, when it comes to delivery options for your order fulfillment or retail operation, timing matters. The impacts of ecommerce are only increasing, promising to bring new challenges to the forefront when weighing delivery goals with consumer expectations.
However, this challenge presents a great deal of opportunity as well. Advances in technology, coupled with a reevaluation of shipping practices, can go a long way in helping an operation meet consumer expectations while ensuring customer satisfaction.
Ultimately, providing fast delivery options is both necessary and vital in today’s world of business. Afterall, fast delivery is not only something consumers want—it’s what they’ve come to expect.
If you are unsure of the precise technologies or processes that would most benefit your order fulfillment operation, a trusted systems integrator can help. Are you ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation with one of our expert systems integrators to see how you can prepare for this and future holiday seasons.