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New research: Understanding the parcel delivery 'tipping point'

New research: Understanding the parcel delivery 'tipping point'

New research commissioned by leading parcel data management platform NetDespatch, reveals that 78% of consumers are now choosing alternative delivery options for their goods such as lockers, convenience stores, the Post Office and Click&Collect with only 22% saying that delivery to home or work is the only delivery option they consider.

The research, conducted by independent market research company, Opinion Matters, polled over 1,000 UK online shoppers to better understand consumer opinion on delivery choices and uncover the parcel delivery tipping point, where consumers are prepared to pay for flexibility around their delivery choices.

When it comes to online shopping convenience far outweighs price. Nearly half (47%) of respondents stated that being able to shop when they want and not when the shop is open was a top priority. 38% of respondents advised that not having to visit a physical store was a key priority, while price came third. Interestingly 88% of those surveyed stated that they would be prepared to pay for a one- or two-day parcel delivery service.

“The results from the survey clearly highlight how important convenience is to online shoppers, more important than price in many cases,” said Matthew Robertson, Co-CEO, NetDespatch. “There is also a clear drive for flexibility from consumers, they are willing to pay more to have greater control over the delivery timeframe. The million dollar question is, how much? Our survey shows that this most definitely depends on the type of purchase.”

The study, “The Tipping Point: Parcel Delivery”, also examined:

  • Delivery expectations and how long are we prepared to wait for a parcel based on the nature of the purchase:
    Distress Purchase - 58% of respondents expect a distress parcel to be delivered same-day or within one day
    Need Purchase - 31.5% were prepared to wait two days, while 29% expect a Need Purchase to be delivered either same-day or within one day
    Really Want Purchase - 81% of respondents were prepared to wait more than two days and anything up to 8+ days
    Nice to Have Purchase - 60% of respondents were quite happy to wait more than four days with one-sixth stating they would wait 8+ days
  • How much are we prepared to pay – 88% of those surveyed stated that they would be prepared to pay for a one- to two-day delivery. Consumers also stated that they would be prepared to pay for Must Have, Want and Nice to Have Purchases.
  • What we love about online shopping – 92% said they love the convenience of online shopping. Consumers also loved the ease of shopping, the fact that they could get what they want and not having to queue.
  • What we hate about online shopping – 66% of respondents stated that they hate returning parcels. Consumers also hate finding the right size and signing for parcels.
  • The dream delivery experience is all about visibility and control – When asked about the three most important elements that make for a positive delivery experience, 82% ranked the ability to track online in their top three, 70% wanted an exact window for delivery, and 65% wanted to be notified of the steps in the delivery journey.

Robertson concludes: “Visibility, control and being kept informed of the steps in the delivery journey are clearly key factors in making that delivery experience a dream.  In order to achieve this retailers and carriers need to be agile, they need technology and data to deliver that information, and they need a seamless process that enables parcels to glide out the door to the consumer.”

The study was carried out in August 2016 and sampled 1,000 online shoppers. To obtain a copy of the full report, The Tipping Point: Parcel Delivery, visit

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