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The 2024 consumer’s definition of fast shipping
After a turbulent few years, online shoppers’ definition of “fast shipping” has stabilized at an average of 3.1 days for 2024.
BOX Staff Writer,
Pitney Bowes
03/20/2024 BOXpoll
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No box, no label, no problem
Two-thirds of consumers are willing to drive farther to drop off an online return if it will get them an instant refund.
BOX Staff Writer,
Pitney Bowes
06/07/2024 BOXpoll
Latest from BOXpoll
No box, no label, no problem
Two-thirds of consumers are willing to drive farther to drop off an online return if it will get them an instant refund.
The 2024 consumer’s definition of fast shipping
After a turbulent few years, online shoppers’ definition of “fast shipping” has stabilized at an average of 3.1 days for 2024.
Returns drop-off: It’s about the journey, not the destination
Three quarters of consumers value a shorter distance to drop off an online return over carrier brand loyalty.
Time is money, get the return picked up
Three-quarters of consumers (74%) would pay $5 for home pickup of online returns, depending on how far the drop-off location is from them.
3m read01/25/2024BOXpoll
Siri, remind me to drop off my returns
We delve into which days of the week when shoppers are most likely to drop off online returns.
3m read12/20/2023BOXpoll
Wrapped in frustration
Almost three-quarters (71%) of consumers—and 4 out of 5 Millennials— have a reason to pay someone else to wrap their presents for them.
A glimmer of hope in the returns fraud wasteland
Shoppers who consider returns fraud acceptable are 10% more likely to find no-box/no-label returns difficult than those who adhere more closely to the rules.
Ultra-fast delivery: Worth the hype?
For consumers making casual purchases, the option of free next-day delivery has a negligible impact on cart abandonment, and instead cannibalizes those who would otherwise opt for standard ground delivery. For consumers making time-sensitive purchases, the option of free next-day delivery reduces cart abandonment, but more significantly cannibalizes those who would otherwise opt for store pickup.
The shippers’ race to a great tracking experience
Our secret shopping data from 2,100 online retailers reveals shockingly low adoption of the tracking features most important to online shoppers, creating opportunity for retailers to set themselves apart with simple—and often free—upgrades.
Consumers’ top tracking priorities
Consumers’ top three priorities from a tracking experience are delivery date information, the ability to see updates without entering log-in information, and the option to get SMS/text updates.
America’s next top shipping headache
Online retailers cite difficulty comparing carrier cost structures as their number one domestic delivery challenge.
Peering into Santa’s shopping list
42% of consumers expect higher free shipping thresholds, but 80% say they’ll buy online more or the same as last year. <br>The top categories shoppers plan to buy online for holidays are apparel, electronics, toys, media/entertainment, and beauty.
Over the river and through the woods to drop off pants and shirts
70% percent of online retailers offer returns drop-off and the average US consumer is willing to go 8.7 miles for it—but retailers should consider shoppers’ total travel distance.
Defining “fast” and “too far” above the 49th parallel north
The average Canadian consumer typically travels less than 6 km to drop off an online return and is willing to go almost 9 km.
Let’s get digital (with returns)
Our first BOXpoll topic of the year came to us from one of our clients, an apparel brand whose target demographic is women age 45+.
Your customers’ growing procrastination is costing you
Trunk time. It’s a term we coined back in 2003 to call attention to how long consumers tend to wait before returning an online purchase, often because of the perceived inconvenience of having to travel to a returns drop-off location.
The Rorschach calendar test goes international
Retailers should avoid setting international shipping prices at checkout based solely on the cost of shipping and consider placing premiums in market where consumers value speed more highly.
5m read11/30/2022BOXpoll
The Black Friday/Cyber Monday report card
34% of consumers are likely to shop online more than they originally expected between now and Christmas.
5m read11/30/2022BOXpoll
When the 360 review feels more like Mean Girls
We're pulling back the curtain on how well the departments inside ecommerce companies work together.
Santa’s hunting for discounts
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for people who aren’t trying to forecast ecommerce peak demand amid inflationary pressures
Drumroll, please: The winners of the 2022 BOX awards
We recognize online retailers who demonstrate excellence in three pillars of the ecommerce order experience: Checkout, Tracking, and Unboxing.
5m read10/06/2022BOXpoll
Retailers’ top tracking priorities
Delivery tracking is a highly mature and largely commoditized space with several dozen providers of tracking software, in addition to solutions offered by carriers themselves.
Don't be a hoser: What Canadians expect from online order experiences
This month on BOXpoll, we’re focusing on Canadian consumers, digging into their sentiments about ecommerce with a lightning round of delivery questions.
No post on Sundays
This month on BOXpoll, we wanted to get more insight into how consumers think about delivery days.
Returns fraud on my mind
Consumers open up about which kinds of returns fraud are socially acceptable
Returnament: Run me my refund
We pit fast store credit against delayed refunds, and fast partial refunds against delayed full refunds.
The not-so-distant echo of school bells
It’s that time of year again for many parents in the U.S.
Returnament: A war of shipping labels
Printed return labels emerge as the friction heroes against QR codes for most consumers
3.5m read07/21/2022BOXpoll
Hunting for gold: Retailers’ return tactic wish lists
While mid-market retailers are most focused on reducing return rates, enterprise brands are most concerned with lowering returns costs to improve their bottom lines.
5m read07/21/2022BOXpoll
Getting into the online exchange game
56% of consumers want more retailers to offer convenient online exchanges. Of those, more than half say the process is often inconvenient.
3.5m read07/21/2022BOXpoll
Share your ETA when you’re OTW
77% of consumers wish more retailers offered estimated delivery time as part of tracking, but more than half notice it’s often inaccurate.
3m read07/21/2022BOXpoll
America’s ecommerce exceptionalism?
Consumers are willing to pay similar shipping amounts from Canada and China, revealing a belief that it’s just as difficult to deliver items from Canada to the US as it is to deliver items from China.
3.5m read06/15/2022BOXpoll
Returnament: Home pickup and drop-off locations
When it comes to carrier drop-off locations, the post office wins solidly as “the best balance of friction” against its two biggest competitors.
5m read06/15/2022BOXpoll
Too many cooks in the kitchen?
42% of retailers give their logistics and operations leaders final authority on choosing a delivery carrier, while only 27% give operations teams the same authority for carrier rating and manifesting software.
5m read06/15/2022BOXpoll
Is normal really back?
While COVID is now at the bottom of shoppers’ reasons to buy from home, more than half (56%) said their motivations for buying online have changed since the peak periods of the pandemic.
6m read06/15/2022BOXpoll
Third party returns pickup is an unproven rookie
Despite being pitched as an ultra-convenient returns option, consumers rank third-party delivery services solidly last out of different methods for initiating a pick-up.
7m read05/12/2022BOXpoll
What is green worth?
More than one-third of all consumers—and more than half of Gen Z—are willing to pay for retailers to take some sort of action to reduce their order’s carbon footprint. Gen Z is willing to pay more than double the average.
5m read05/12/2022BOXpoll
Multicarrier appears to be a privilege
More than one-third (39%) of U.S. online retailers cite fear of losing volume discounts as a top obstacle to furthering their multicarrier strategies
4m read05/12/2022BOXpoll
Leaky international checkouts
Between 71-82% of shoppers say they’ve abandoned orders from the U.S. because they did not want to risk paying import duties due to DDU shipping.
3m read05/12/2022BOXpoll
International carts gone MIA
Expectations around cross-border delivery aren’t changing—but more international shoppers think shipping is too slow.
3m read04/12/2022BOXpoll
Introducing: Returnament 2022
Amid all-time-high return rates, Pitney Bowes created a competition to find the best balance between returns convenience and just enough friction
2m read04/12/2022BOXpoll
The 2022 definition of basically the 2021 definition of fast
Despite being anxious to get back to pre-pandemic lives, consumers are still gauging speed through a COVID lens
3m read04/12/2022BOXpoll
Due to fears of inflation, half of shoppers are discount shopping for groceries—but not much else
51% of shoppers are discount shopping for groceries, but far fewer are bargain hunting for discretionary purchases.
3m read02/21/2022BOXpoll
When faster isn’t actually better
Accuracy continues to win out over speed for estimated delivery dates—even with early deliveries
5m read02/21/2022BOXpoll
Curb (or couch) your enthusiasm?
We ask consumers whether buy-online-pickup-somewhere is eating into the popularity of home delivery
2m read02/21/2022BOXpoll
Throwing pottery on a Peloton while playing Pac-Man
94% of consumers now have a hobby. More than one-third of Millennials and Gen Z are likely to pay for expedited shipping for hobby-related items.
5m read02/21/2022BOXpoll
Time to cash in your (gift) chips
Gen Z and Millennials came out on top of the holiday gift card game, but spending plans vary significantly.
3m read01/21/2022BOXpoll
Is crime hurting in-store or online sales more?
Concern about crime is causing more than a third of consumers to change their shopping behaviors.
3m read01/21/2022BOXpoll
An evolving definition of returns convenience
Forged during the pandemic, consumers’ definition of ‘easy’ returns continues to shift
8m read01/21/2022BOXpoll
Omnichannel, Omicron, and on and on
Two-thirds of consumers are concerned about the Omicron variant. Half plan to alter shopping habits.
3m read01/21/2022BOXpoll
One person’s return is another one’s treasure
Recommerce, regifting, returns…and unrealized opportunities
4m read12/22/2021BOXpoll
Scotch tape…and a bottle of scotch
Online shoppers frustrated with gift wrapping yearn to have retailers do it for them
6m read12/22/2021BOXpoll
Santa tracker fudge factor
Updating delivery dates after the buy button results in happier customers
5m read12/22/2021BOXpoll
A (supply) chain reaction
Consumers expect supply chains disruptions to continue next year, and are already making plans
4m read12/22/2021BOXpoll
The North Pole is floating off Long Beach
Despite supply chain issues, many consumers are holding out for better holiday deals
5m read11/16/2021BOXpoll
Patience may not be dead... yet
Most consumers prioritize price over shipping speed and brand loyalty. But if delivery is too slow, retailers risk losing the purchase entirely.
6m read11/16/2021BOXpoll
Exchange rates change minds
A stronger dollar drives second thoughts among cross-border consumers
6m read11/16/2021BOXpoll
Gift cards will fuel the 12 days after Christmas
More than half of consumers plan to spend gift cards received within weeks of this holiday
4m read11/16/2021BOXpoll
Ultra-fast? Sure. Ultra-loved? TBD
Market hype has grown around delivery within an hour. But how much are consumers bought in?
6m read10/21/2021BOXpoll
Is waiting still the hardest part?
We ask cross-border consumers how their expectations have changed about delivery speed
4m read10/21/2021BOXpoll
BTW LMK RN: Texting & tracking
Getting delivery tracking updates via SMS/text has never been more popular
6m read10/21/2021BOXpoll
It’s beginning to look a lot like ecommerce
Consumers plan to do more than half their holiday shopping online, and nearly half are starting early
7m read10/21/2021BOXpoll
Returning to pandemic pastimes
Hobbies picked up during the pandemic come with higher expectations—especially around returns
5m read09/20/2021BOXpoll
SubSummit Special Edition: The loneliest AI
Chatbots hold great promise for retailers—but what do consumers think?
5m read09/20/2021BOXpoll
SubSummit Special Edition: Trials and Tribulations
Free trials have low adoption among subscription retailers—but 1 in 3 consumers will bite
7m read09/20/2021BOXpoll
A Delta in consumer behavior
The new surge in COVID-19 cases is altering consumer behaviors—again—ahead of peak season
7m read09/20/2021BOXpoll
Stretch pants are the new…pants
The (ahem) expansive popularity of athleisure drives lower return rates
2m read08/15/2021BOXpoll
A kinder, gentler shopper?
Consumers expect to have issues shopping this holiday. Here’s how they’re adapting.
3m read08/15/2021BOXpoll
There’s no second place in a popularity contest
US brands regain standing among cross-border consumers
4m read08/15/2021BOXpoll
Brexit’s effect on US brands
Half a year after Brexit, UK & EU consumers are adapting with new habits
7m read08/15/2021BOXpoll
Have normal, will travel
Nearly half of consumers are taking more than one trip this summer, driving spending habits in new directions.
2m read07/29/2021BOXpoll
Peak purchasing preview
We asked consumers when and how much they expect to spend this holiday. The answers weren’t what we were expecting.
4m read07/15/2021BOXpoll
Return of the Zoomies
In-school learning is set to return in full force. What does this mean for back-to-school sales?
3m read07/15/2021BOXpoll
Commutes and curation
You’ll be surprised how reopening offices is impacting the subscription industry.
6m read07/01/2021BOXpoll
Mid-term report cards
Halfway to peak 2021 and amid pandemic recovery, we asked consumers to grade their online order experiences by retail category.
3m read06/22/2021BOXpoll
Spandex killed the bracketing star
The unexpected (and profit-driving) side effect of elastic waistbands on return rates
2m read06/22/2021BOXpoll
Logistics needs people. So where are the people?
We explore why there’s a logistics labor shortage in the midst of massive unemployment.
2m read06/22/2021BOXpoll
What’s the value of a guarantee?
Guaranteeing delivery builds confidence, conversions and (gasp) beats fast shipping with most consumers.
2m read06/22/2021BOXpoll
Packaging in the age of YouTube
We return to one of our most popular topics—what consumers believe packaging is worth. Gen Zers (among others!) continue to surprise us.
3m read05/21/2021BOXpoll
Slow your roll
Fast delivery isn’t as fast as you might think — and might not be worth as much as it recently was.
5m read05/20/2021BOXpoll
Like having a limb ripped off
We asked consumers how they felt about various returns initiation processes. The responses were mostly metaphorical.
5m read05/20/2021BOXpoll
Song of the Summer: Stimmy & Jab?
How much of an impact will the vaccine have on summer spending? The answers surprised us.
2m read05/20/2021BOXpoll
Vürtdaførk: IKEA, digital brands and the fate of the print catalog
Just as the furniture retailer goes all-in on digital, digital brands rediscover the catalog.
2m read04/23/2021BOXpoll
Checking the green box
Brands are weighing the business value of sustainable products and packaging. Here’s what consumers think.
4m read04/23/2021BOXpoll
How do you say…’never mind’?
We asked cross-border shoppers about their pain thresholds—with returns
2m read04/23/2021BOXpoll
Rockwell was right: somebody’s watching (and we’re mostly ok with it)
Most consumers have become inured to highly personalized retail marketing. But many are getting creeped out.
3m read04/23/2021BOXpoll
Green acres is the place to be
The physical dispersion of consumers will change everything…and also ecommerce logistics.
3m read03/23/2021BOXpoll
Big in China
While apparel & accessories are popular everywhere, these categories do particularly well in specific cross-border markets.
2m read03/20/2021BOXpoll
Returns: a convenience wasteland?
More than 3 in 4 consumers said recent online returns experiences were a hassle. We wanted to learn why.
2m read03/20/2021BOXpoll
Speed is in the eye of the beholder
Here’s where distance doesn’t lower shipping expectations among cross-border consumers.
2m read03/20/2021BOXpoll
The junk in your customers’ trunk is costing you
The pandemic is affecting the time it takes to recover online returns while impacting customer service calls.
5m read02/24/2021BOXpoll
Disapproving neighbors…are still neighbors
We built a Cross-border Market Value Model to stack rank opportunities for US brands among skeptical international consumers.
4m read02/24/2021BOXpoll
Southern exposure: Canadian attitudes towards US brands
Canadian consumers report spending 41% of their total online purchases with US-based retailers.
3m read02/24/2021BOXpoll
More than Netflix & Stitch Fix
Subscription services—both digital and physical—have seen significant growth in the pandemic. <br>But does the adoption have staying power?
5m read02/24/2021BOXpoll
Long distance relationships are hard
Brexit agreement redraws lines among cross-border consumer behaviors.
2m read01/15/2021BOXpoll
The vaccine cometh: what’s on consumers’ minds?
42% of consumers plan to shop even more online after the pandemic ends.
5m read01/15/2021BOXpoll
Report card time: how did consumers grade peak season?
Consistently more than half of consumers shopped online each week through peak. While 1 in 4 experienced delivery delays, most seem to have graded retailers on a curve.
4m read01/15/2021BOXpoll
Here come the returns
This peak, home pickup is the #1 returns option for COVID-weary consumers, yet half don’t know which carriers offer it for free.
8m read01/15/2021BOXpoll
Porch piracy is a problem. Or so I’ve heard.
7 in 10 say that it’s a problem that needs to be solved ASAP. 1 in 5 have actually experienced it.
3m read12/15/2020BOXpoll
"Sometimes the only thing I have to look forward to."
Amid the monotony of pandemic life, consumers find value in receiving and unboxing online deliveries.
5m read12/15/2020BOXpoll
Putting on or taking off the COVID-19?
The majority of consumers have seen their weight change during the pandemic, driving new purchases across product categories
2m read12/15/2020BOXpoll
Consumers may be lacking a sense of urgency
Consumers were slow to get started on online holiday shopping although 36% plan to pay for expedited shipping in the final week of the season
2m read12/15/2020BOXpoll
How many deliveries are too many?
More than half of consumers have become more aware of the growing mountain of boxes at their doors since the start of the pandemic. Few feel inclined to change it.
5m read12/15/2020BOXpoll
Are consumers ‘flattening the curve’ of peak shipping volumes?
In a year when uncertainty abounds, there’s plenty to share this holiday season.
4m read11/15/2020BOXpoll
Reconsidering the need for speed
In the aftermath of pandemic-fueled shipping delays and in anticipation of ecommerce’s largest peak ever—we asked consumers, what does “fast” shipping mean anymore?
4m read11/15/2020BOXpoll
“It’s always been a hassle, but now…”
Consumers, delivery tracking…and anger management
3m read11/15/2020BOXpoll
IDK, maybe being undecided is a choice
They may be unsure who to vote for or how they feel about the pandemic, but undecided voters are certain about these two things.
2m read11/15/2020BOXpoll
Curbside pickup is having a moment
So why do 1 in 4 consumers feel like they're being put to work?
2m read11/15/2020BOXpoll
Sad returns: the challenge with in-person drop-off
Among pandemic-weary consumers, nearly half find the process annoying.
4m read11/15/2020BOXpoll
Guess who’s coming to deliver
Recognition and uncertainty reshape consumers’ relationships with delivery drivers.
2m read11/15/2020BOXpoll
We're bored-shopping
Consumers may be six feet apart, but 1 in 3 appear to be hovering over the ‘buy’ button
3m read10/15/2020BOXpoll
Value wins over values
US consumers prefer ecommerce brands who offer easy order experiences over those who focus on values & beliefs (if given the choice).
3m read10/15/2020BOXpoll
Ho, ho, hold on—where’s my package?
Consumers trust small & local businesses least to deliver on time this holiday season
3m read10/15/2020BOXpoll
All at once: when consumers, culture, and COVID-19 collide
What we’ve discovered—and still have to learn—about the new age of ecommerce order experiences.
5m read10/15/2020BOXpoll
Disinfecting delivery
Online shoppers are protecting themselves from germy packages.
2m read10/15/2020BOXpoll
Get the BOXpoll inside scoop
Pitney Bowes is surveying consumers on a wide variety of ecommerce topics each and every week, and publishing the best of our findings on every month.
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