Guess who’s coming to deliver

Recognition and uncertainty reshape consumers’ relationships with delivery drivers.

In the age of COVID-19, a knock at the door or ring of the doorbell can bring either anxiety or delight. Who’s there? An Instacart driver in an unmarked car? A neighbor sneezing loudly? Are we going to need to have (gasp) a conversation? Or is it a delivery driver dropping off your latest bored shopping impulse buy?  

For consumers, seeing someone they recognize at their door brings relief in a time of pervasive social awkwardness. According to the latest Pitney Bowes BOXpoll—a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture and ecommerce logistics—US Postal Service carriers are the only delivery drivers to be recognized by the majority of consumers. Far fewer are likely to know their UPS or FedEx drivers, with Amazon and food delivery workers at the bottom of the list.  


As with everything, there are biases

Different generations have differing relationships with their delivery drivers. Perhaps a harbinger of future consumer mindsets, it appears Gen Z is least likely to recognize any delivery driver—but is more likely to recognize their Amazon driver versus UPS or FedEx. Though this may have less to do with age and more to do with whether these respondents live alone/with others and where they work—all of which tend to be different between Gen Z and other generations.  

Where you live—in the city, in the suburbs, or in rural areas—has an impact as well. Rural and urban consumers are the most likely to recognize their USPS carriers (30 and 28 percent, respectively). Urbanites are much more likely than residents of other communities to recognize all drivers. Suburbanites are the least likely to recognize any delivery driver

“33 percent of online shoppers are more likely to purchase again from a retailer whose delivery driver they recognize.”

The kicker: recognition drives conversions & repeat purchases 

The good news for companies using USPS for residential delivery? Our findings show that 33 percent of online shoppers are likely to purchase (or purchase again) from a retailer whose delivery drivers they recognize. It doesn’t hurt that USPS holds the distinction of recently being voted the most trusted brand in the US.


As a barometer of pandemic anxiety, 60 percent of those who feel they are in the early stages of the pandemic are more likely to purchase from a retailer whose delivery driver they recognize, versus only 28 percent who said it would make no difference. 

BOXpollTM by Pitney Bowes, a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture,and ecommerce logistics. Conducted by Pitney Bowes with Morning Consult //2094 US consumers surveyed October 2020.© Copyright 2020 Pitney Bowes Inc.

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