91% of People Are More Likely to Buy a Product If Delivery Is Free, Study Finds

With most people preferring online ordering and free delivery, data shows everything from packaging to courier service contributes to a memorable experience that increases sales.

91% of People Are More Likely to Buy a Product If Delivery Is Free, Study Finds

The popularity of mobile and online ordering is on a meteoric rise across industries. From small startups to giants like Amazon, direct-to-consumer delivery have spiked across the world – propelled by the pandemic that forced people to stay home and necessitated lockdowns.

In the U.S, 60% of consumers order delivery or takeout once a week, while 31% say they use third-party delivery services at least twice a week. Of those Americans who use third-party food delivery services, a whopping 87% agree that it makes their lives easier.

In Europe, statistics show that the UK has the most advanced e-commerce market. Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that revenue from e-commerce amounted to £688.4 billion GBP in 2018, with the value of online retail sitting at £76.04 billion in 2019.

As of 2022, revenue from retail e-commerce in the U.S was estimated at roughly 905 billion U.S. dollars. The Statista Digital Market Outlook forecasts that by 2027, online shopping revenue in the U.S. will exceed 1.7 trillion dollars.

With this recent surges in an already rapidly growing market, the delivery experience when buying products online has become more important than ever. Brands and e-commerce businesses are focusing their attention on improving their overall service.


Consumers Have Their Say on Online Delivery Experience


To find out how important the delivery experience is for consumers, print and packaging experts, Where the Trade Buys, conducted a survey. Everything from the price of delivery – and the courier service being used – to memorable packaging and sharing on social media was analyzed in the survey.

The survey responses make for interesting reading and give an insight into what people think before, during, and after they buy a product online.

Here are the results from the survey responses:


Is the delivery price, right?


The price being charged for an item to be delivered can either cause a consumer to empty their online basket or make them hit the ‘buy’ button.


Does paying for delivery put you off buying online?


Almost 70% of respondents said that simply paying for delivery puts them off buying online. A quick trip down the shops is the preferred choice if they must pay extra to get an item delivered from an online store.


Are you more likely to make a purchase if delivery is FREE?


A staggering 91% of people answered YES to this question. The incentive of free delivery incites people to shop online rather than on the high street.


Would you pay more for delivery to receive an item the next day?


It was interesting to see that despite being averse to paying standard delivery fees, 65% of people would pay more for next-day delivery. Amazon is perceived as the masters of the next-day service with their Prime option, but others are starting to follow suit, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

Wanting products quickly can be put down to everything from impulse buys to needing an item for a present – and wanting to make sure you have it in good time.


At Your Service


It’s no secret companies rely on courier service experts to get items to customers. But how much notice do people take of who is delivering to their doorstep?


Do you pay attention to which courier service is delivering your item?


Almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) said they take notice of which courier service is showing up at their door. It wouldn’t take you long to find examples of deliveries going wrong online. The latest example is a man who had £700 worth of trainers lost in transit.


Are you less likely to buy from the same seller if the courier service is poor?


To add further context to the above, 80% of people said they were less likely to buy from the same seller if the courier service they receive is poor.

While product sellers and courier companies are separate, it’s understandable that people connect the two together when parting ways with hard-earned money.


Is It All in the Packaging?


When comes to the packaging of a product, many businesses use it as an opportunity to showcase their brand or create excitement for what’s inside.

The rise of social media has seen the emergence of ‘unboxing’ – a craze that’s been around since at least 2014, where people open items and video the experience for others to enjoy.

But for the everyday person who isn’t perhaps a social influencer, how important is the packaging?


Do you pay attention to the packaging of the item you've bought?


An impressive 71% of people admitted that they do pay attention to the packing for the item they’ve just purchased. This is where brands can be creative and include personalised touches.


Do you think packaging should be personalised?


Despite 71% of people saying they paid attention to packaging, only 25% thought that packaging should be personalised. While it’s a low figure in comparison, businesses can still reap some rewards from adding an extra touch of care to their packaging.


Would memorable packing encourage you to share on social media?


The votes were practically split when it came to memorable packaging, with 48% saying they would share it on social media if it stood out. It may well be music to the ears of companies with an eye for cornering the social side of brand awareness.


Would memorable packaging encourage you to buy again from the same seller?


52% of people said if it were memorable, it would encourage them to buy again from the same seller. This is an interesting topic of conversation for brands and marketing teams to discuss, especially where sales figures are concerned.

Speaking about the role for print materials in the world of packaging, Gary Peeling, CEO of Where The Trade Buys, said:

“Using print materials to help packaging and in-box media stand out and make it more personalised is a great way to connect with consumers, but also cut through crowded digital channels via traditional methods of marketing.


“In a digital age, it’s important to remember that something as simple as a compliment slip can create a memorable experience and one that could encourage a consumer to buy from the same business again.”


The Overall Online Ordering and Delivery Experience


To cap things off, when asked to give a rating out of five stars, for how positive the overall delivery experience needs to be, 78% of people said it would need to be a four out five service (very good) with 5% wanting the full five stars (excellent).

With the average score across all responses showing that the delivery experience needs to be four out of five stars to become a repeat customer, it’s a clear indication that everything from cost, courier service, packaging – and creating a truly memorable experience – is important for businesses to remember when selling their latest products.

Jack Johnson is a copywriter and Outreach Executive at Mediaworks. He graduated from Northumbria University and specializes in digital innovation.