- Consumers are increasingly making delivery speed a top priority when placing orders for products online, according to data released on Monday by NielsenIQ.
- Sixty-one percent of participants in the research firm's Omnichannel Shopping Fundamentals Survey, which was conducted between Feb. 26 and March 28, said they would like to have orders delivered as fast as possible, compared with 39% who indicated they would accept a slower delivery speed if that reduced the number of delivery trips or cut down on packaging.
- Some consumers are displaying a clear preference for prompt deliveries even as retailers tout steps they are taking to improve the sustainability of their operations.
The findings from NielsenIQ underscore the rising value shoppers place on getting items they order as fast as possible.
Larger households and those with kids were more likely to prize faster delivery speeds, while people ages 65 or older, Asian Americans and millennials led the way in opting for delivery methods considered more environmentally friendly, according to the research.
The percentage of shoppers who considered opting for a delivery that would take two or more days dropped to 55% in September from 64% during that period in 2019, according to the survey. Next-day delivery also dropped in popularity over the one-year period covered by the research, with 35% of shoppers considering the option in September compared with 37% during the same month a year earlier.
At the same time, shoppers are becoming more interested in being able to receive orders on the same day they place them. A tenth of shoppers said they preferred same-day delivery in September, up from 7% in September 2019. The figure jumped from 9% to 13% when people were asked about same-day pickup.
Rising consumer demand for faster delivery has become a key driver for retailers as they build out their e-commerce offerings. Fast deliveries are a component of the Walmart+ membership program Walmart launched in September, which offers free same-day grocery delivery for orders of $35 or more. Analysts expect Amazon's results for the latest quarter, due for release after the stock market closes on Thursday, April 29, to show that the free one-day and same-day delivery services the retailer offers helped expand Amazon's operations during the period, according to a Zacks Equity Research report.
Instacart recently reported that 85% of shoppers in a survey by The Harris Poll said they'd prefer to receive grocery orders in two hours or less.
In a sign that investors are bullish about companies that are looking to tap demand for fast delivery speeds, Gopuff, which offers deliveries in 30 minutes, raised $1.15 billion in a March funding round that pushed its valuation to just shy of $9 billion. In February, Foxtrot Market, which makes local deliveries from its fleet of upscale convenience stores in less than an hour, closed a $42 million round of fundraising.
Grocers are highlighting their efforts to reduce their environmental footprints at the same time consumers are eager to get their orders as fast as possible. Retailers including Kroger, Target, Walmart and Ahold Delhaize are engaged in multiyear initiatives to improve their sustainability and are providing public updates on their progress.