Shipping trends: 3 issues consumers care about more than delivery speed

Shipping trends: 3 issues consumers care about more than delivery speed

Shipping trends: 3 issues consumers care about more than delivery speed

Posted In



Mar 3, 2023

Written by

Kelli Blystone

Kelli is the senior content strategist for Order Protection.

In the age of Amazon Prime, Uber Eats, and other instant-gratification services, you might be surprised to learn about one trend that’s ramping up in the eCommerce world in 2023. According to a new report released from Shippo, delivery speed is becoming less important to consumers.

*record scratch*

That’s right. Only 10% of online shoppers wanted same or next-day delivery in 2022, down from 18% in 2021, based on responses from more than 1,000 respondents each from both the eCommerce merchant and consumer communities polled in Shippo’s “State of Shipping Report.” 

But while timeliness of receiving packages was less dire in 2022, reliability remains essential. The report also found that 19% of consumers said they wouldn't make a second purchase with a retailer who lost their package, and 42% say how the merchant responds to, or resolves this issue, determines whether or not they'd be a returning customer.

Ultimately, it seems that consumers will overlook the fact that a retailer doesn’t offer next-day, or even same-day shipping if they know the business is reliable. Consumers would rather buy from businesses they know they can trust than to consistently receive the wrong items or damaged products from a brand that focuses more on delivery speed than the quality of their customer service.

In this article, we want to explore the factors that consumers are citing as major contributors to whether or not they will purchase from a brand. Let’s dive in.

3 issues consumers care about more than delivery speed

1. Tracking and visibility into their orders and the shipping process

While delivery speed is becoming less of a concern for consumers, insights into the shipping and delivery process is extremely important to online shoppers. In a study by Digital Commerce 360, 93% of consumers stated that they wanted to stay informed throughout the delivery process—from in-transit status to final arrival date. When brands provide real-time order tracking, consumers have a more positive delivery experience overall. This factor is so important that nearly half (47%) of respondents said they wouldn’t order again from a brand with poor delivery visibility.

For those in the eCommerce space, WISMO is an all-too-familiar headache. “Where is my order?” or “WISMO” is by far the most common inquiry online shoppers make of retailers’ customer service teams. Not only is this a poor experience for consumers, but it carries a hefty price tag for retailers, both in time and money. 

According to a study by Gorgias, WISMO requests to human support teams cost around $12 per ticket. By their math, in an example scenario where a retailer receives 150 WISMO requests in one month, they end up paying $1,860 (150*$12.40) just to give customers updates on order status. 

While this seems fairly clearcut, many brands and retailers are not prioritizing tracking and shipping visibility as part of their delivery process. According to the Digital Commerce 360 study, 44% of respondents said brands are not creating positive delivery experiences.  

The opportunity: Brands need better insights into all shipments across all carriers in real time. Many delivery experience management tools allow retailers to keep track of all order and shipping data in one place, where fulfillment managers and customer service teams alike can identify risks and take action before they impact customer satisfaction and retention. These tools often provide consumers with a self-service tracking option as well, saving retailers on WISMO requests.

According to Digital Commerce 360, a brand’s inability to address a delivery problem is worse than being a day late with delivery. Their study reflects that, with 98% of respondents reporting that delivery is a key part of their brand loyalty. They’ve also found that retailers who proactively identify and communicate with customers to solve problems receive a three-point higher Net Promoter Score than retailers with no delivery issues at all. You read that right: in the consumer’s eye, a more proactive approach to delivery and shipping issues instills more trust than simply having no issues.

2. Receiving the correct items, and avoiding damaged or stolen packages

While it may seem fairly obvious, consumers are much more interested in receiving their correct order, undamaged, and preferably not stolen by porch pirates than they are in fast shipping. Because, after all, what good is same- or next-day delivery if they’re not getting what they ordered? Or the order arrives damaged, or not at all? 

We reported on many of these issues in an earlier article, and it’s clear that brands and retailers should focus more of their efforts on preventing and handling these types of shipping issues than just the speed of their shipping. If not for better customer satisfaction and increased brand loyalty, it’s in retailers’ best interest to get a handle on these issues in terms of returns cost alone. A 2021 survey of over 7,000 consumers found one of the top three reasons people said they returned items was because they were damaged or defective. And, for every $1 billion in sales in 2021, retailers saw $166 million worth of goods returned.

The prevalence of package theft is also a major issue. According to the 2022 Package Theft Annual Report, 49 million Americans had at least one package stolen in the year leading to November 2021, with the average losses totaling more than $2.4 billion in stolen goods. With porch piracy on the rise, retailers’ time and efforts would be better spent on solutions to combat theft rather than delivery speed. 

The opportunity: Investing in tracking and order visibility solutions helps retailers in resolving these issues as well. While package theft is unpredictable, consumers with visibility into when they can expect their deliveries can plan ahead to ensure their packages aren’t left unattended for long periods of time. 

Again, this isn’t a perfect solution, and packages can still be lost or stolen even with real-time tracking. Retailers can also offer shipping protection or insurance on orders so that in the case of theft or lost packages, customers can file claims to receive reimbursement or reshipment of their items. Many shipping protection providers will integrate directly with eCommerce platforms and apps so customers can easily add insurance to their orders with the click of a button.

When offering shipping and order protection, an efficient claims process and tool for handling claims is key. With solutions like Order Protection, brands gain access to 24/7 customer support teams that handle the claims process, and a platform where consumers can easily file claims and support reps can process those claims from start to finish, plus communicate directly with the customer, all in one place.

3. Environmentally-conscious shipping and sustainable practices

As climate change and greenhouse gas emissions continue to gain traction among both consumers and government entities, businesses, including retailers, are feeling the pressure to reduce their environmental impact. In fact, a 2021 study revealed that more than a third of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainability. 

And when it comes to faster delivery, many are beginning to ask if shipping speeds come at a cost to the environment. The reality is that, yes, it likely does.

While retailers taking a harder look at their carbon footprint is ultimately a good thing for all, greenwashing and overusing environmentalism as a marketing tool has created confusion for consumers and left retailers with questions about how sustainable practices can actually improve their bottom line.

The opportunity: Focusing on more sustainable, environmentally-conscious business models can be the new competitive advantage for retailers. UPS, FedEx, and Amazon are already on board, making changes to reduce their carbon footprints. 

As consumer demands and expectations evolve, retailers won’t have much of a choice but to evaluate their sustainability practices. Consumers across all generations are now willing to spend more for sustainable products, with the influence from Gen Z shoppers only increasing as they grow into adulthood. Insider reported that by 2030, Gen Z will represent 27% of the world’s income.

Brands can partner with solutions like EcoCart to offer an end-to-end sustainable shopping experience, including carbon neutral checkout. Many are already investing in sustainable packaging options as well.


While fast and efficient shipping will likely never be off the table now that we’ve experienced the likes of Amazon Prime two-day shipping and others, it’s not the leading concern for consumers in 2023. 

Tracking tools and insights into deliveries, quick resolutions and excellent customer support for theft and damage claims, and more sustainable shipping and packaging options are gaining momentum in the eCommerce space, and retailers who aren’t on board will quickly get left behind.

Launch 24/7 support and order protection today.

Happier customers and boosted profits await.

Launch 24/7 support and order protection today.

Happier customers and boosted profits await.