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The Amazon Prime Effect: Rising Expectations for E-Commerce Delivery and Fulfillment

08/14/2018 By

If the 100 million-plus shoppers who pay $119 a year for fast shipping via Amazon Prime are any indication, a smooth and expedient delivery and fulfillment process is crucial to e-commerce success. And expectations are rising.

According to a recent survey of 3,000 online shoppers from Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., younger generations are particularly critical, with less than half of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 saying that they receive their orders on time and in perfect condition. These findings are published in a new report from Radial, “The Everyday Essentials of Successful E-Commerce Fulfillment.”

As the chart below shows, younger people are less likely than their older counterparts to report satisfaction with the delivery and fulfillment process. Another interesting finding is that U.S. shoppers tend to be more satisfied than U.K. shoppers, who in turn are more satisfied than shoppers in Canada.

Source: Radial

This same trend applies to the percentage of respondents who report “at least occasional challenges receiving their online orders,” with 35% of U.S.-based respondents, 40% of U.K.-based respondents and 43% of Canada-based respondents citing such challenges.

It’s All Mostly About Speed

Call it the Amazon Prime effect. A third of the U.S. respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 say that their biggest frustration is how long it takes to receive online orders. Fewer respondents named cost (20%) or theft (12%) as top concerns.

U.S. respondents tend to be more concerned with theft, whereas the British and Canadian respondents expressed worry that their orders would arrive damaged. Nevertheless, respondents overwhelmingly pick delivery to their homes over delivery to their offices.

The survey showed some generational difference in the degree of concern over environmentally-friendly packaging: younger millennials and Baby Boomers are more likely to prioritize this issue, whereas middle-aged respondents tend to just want their orders to arrive on time and intact.

As for geographical differences, respondents from the U.K. and Canada were more likely than U.S. respondents to order from retailers that use environmentally-friendly packaging.

Shoppers Say Yes to BOPIS

Buy online, pick up in store, that is.

Another interesting finding from this survey is that nearly half of the respondents still choose to pick up some of their online orders in a brick-and-mortar store, and this tendency is stronger among U.K. shoppers (54%) than Canadian (41%) or U.S. (38%) ones.

Source: Radial

Reasons for opting for in-store pick-up also differ somewhat by geography. Americans are more likely to be incentivized by saving on shipping costs, whereas their U.K. and Canadian counterparts want to save on time.

Manual vs. Automated

When it comes to online shopping, 65% of respondents still prefer to order their products manually, as opposed to setting up an automated delivery or subscription.

Among those who would consider automated deliveries, non-perishable food and household supplies are their top choices. Forty-one percent of respondents aged 18-24 say that they would set up a subscription for household supplies, in contrast to 23% of respondents aged 35-54. The younger respondents were also open to automatic delivery of beauty and wellness products.

The full report is available here.