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Shoppers Seek Speed Alongside Growing Online Adoption: NielsenIQ

Study finds 60% opt for rapid delivery vs. eco-friendly consolidated shipments
Photograph: Shutterstock

While sustainable products and eco-friendly lifestyles are increasingly front of mind for U.S. shoppers, their need for speed with online order deliveries says otherwise, according to insights from NielsenIQ’s recent Omnibus Survey field, conducted Feb. 26-March 28.

The study found 61% of those surveyed prefer to have their products delivered as quickly as possible, while 39% of online shopper panelists prefer having their product deliveries consolidated in one shipment to reduce packaging and the number of delivery trips—even if it prolongs the delivery process.

Shoppers’ fulfillment considerations are also shifting: Same-day delivery, same-day pickup and next-day/later pickup all gained traction among shoppers throughout the pandemic, according to NielsenIQ’s Omnichannel Shopping Fundamentals Survey.

Same-day delivery considerations increased to 27% in September 2020 vs. 23% the prior year; same-day pickup increased to 28% from 20%; and next-day/later pickup was 27% in September 2020 vs. 18% in 2019.

Meanwhile, 2+ day delivery considerations decreased from 64% in September 2019 to 55% in 2020, and next-day delivery decreased from 37% to 35%.

The same trends where seen when shoppers were asked about their fulfillment preferences. Ten percent of shoppers preferred same-day delivery in September 2020 vs. 7% the prior year; 13% preferred same-day pickup in 2020 vs. 9% in 2019; and 13% preferred next-day/later pickup vs. 6% the year prior.

Again, preferences for 2+ day delivery declined (from 51% in 2019 to 40% in 2020), as did next-day delivery (from 20% in 2019 to 16% in 2020).   

Hours Not Days

Findings form the Omnichannel Shopping Fundamentals Survey mirror data from a recent market study conducted by Instacart and the Harris Poll, which found that speed and convenience will be the key drivers of online grocery shoppers.

When presenting its survey panelists with a slate of delivery options, including two hours or less, five-hour delivery and other scheduled options throughout the day, Instacart said 85% of customers opt for delivery in two hours or less.

While pandemic shoppers have grown accustomed to paying small premiums for added convenience, speedy delivery options such as two hours or less can be costly, and retailers of all sizes need to continue weighing investments in their omnichannel capabilities to maximize sales and accommodate for a diverse array of shopper needs for the long term, NielsenIQ said in a release. It suggests costs can be offset with affordable membership and delivery fees. 



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