The 2024 consumer’s definition of fast shipping

Post-pandemic, consumers’’ standard for “fast” delivery has stabilized around 3 days

Skyrocketing consumer demand. Supply chain delays. Fluctuations in carrier capacity. Yoyoing network speeds. Are we having flashbacks yet?

This month on BOXpoll, we’re updating our reporting on consumers’ shipping speed expectations. We won’t bury the lede: after a turbulent few years in the ecommerce world, online shoppers’ definition of “fast shipping” have finally stabilized at an average of 3.1 days for all non-grocery product categories.

We asked consumers every month last year the maximum delivery speed they would consider fast for a series of product categories, and aside from a brief dip in November (when holiday shopping commenced) we found that expectations remained steady throughout the year.

While online retailers can take solace in the fact that they aren’t under pressure to compete with Prime’s 2-day delivery model to be considered “fast”, many shippers have started consolidating fulfillment locations in the last 8-9 months as they pare back storage capacity built up during the pandemic.

With speed expectations stabilizing but many retailers not keeping inventory as close to consumers in 2024, shippers have to figure out how to ensure leaner distribution networks will still meet their customers’ expectations.

Our advice to shippers? Run a new model of your network and evaluate which carrier services are going to strike the right balance of cost and speed for your business. If modeling based on parcel profile and logistics strategy isn’t something you’re able to do in-house, we recommend putting the onus on a carrier or consultant to do it for you using tools like BOXlab.

BOXpoll™ by Pitney Bowes, a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture, and ecommerce logistics. Conducted by Pitney Bowes with Morning Consult // 2200 US consumers surveyed January – December 2023. © Copyright Pitney Bowes Inc.

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