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Ecommerce Delivery Trends for 2017

Online customers are continually expecting more delivery options when purchasing from an e-retailer.  This is a trend sure to continue into 2017.  Customers want merchandise to be shipped quickly and at a low (or free) cost, and retailers are trying their best to meet these demands.  Here are many of the delivery trends being initiated by online sellers that we see coming to fruition or continuing into 2017.   truck

Free Shipping

Online customers are becoming savvy about looking for, and asking for free shipping.  Many retailers are offering free shipping with a purchase of a certain amount, or during specific times of the year.  Coupon codes with a free shipping promotion have also become a very popular selling incentive.   Online retailers have found free shipping has become a very effective promotion.

For smaller retailers that sell unique products, a free shipping offer can be built into the price of the product since the consumer cannot comparison shop.  For larger retailers, absorbing the shipping cost for the consumer will result in a larger amount of sales to offset the hit.

Free Shipping Membership

Another trend in delivery options is a free shipping membership.  Customers get unlimited free shipping for an annual fee.  Amazon was the leader with its Amazon Prime program, and several other e-retailers have joined in.

Independent shipping membership programs, such as ShopRunner, work directly with certain retailers to give customers free shipping.  Retailers benefit because customers tend to purchase from the retailer again to take advantage of the free shipping offer.

Flat Rate Shipping

Some retailers that cannot afford a free shipping promotion are choosing to keep shipping simple with a flat rate offer.   Customers pay one rate for all orders, which avoids surprise at checkout.  Average order price and shipping amount should be considered when choosing the flat rate, although flat rates under $10 usually work best.

Free Upgrades

Other retailers who are unable to offer free shipping have tried a shipping upgrade promotion.  Enabling the customer to upgrade to free overnight or second-day shipping still gets them their order quickly, and they are incurring some of the cost of the shipping.   Negotiating with your shipping carrier might also help to deflect some of the cost of the upgrade.

Faster Delivery

Most customers expect merchandise within three days of ordering, causing many companies to consider next day or two day shipping options.  Larger e-retailers are obviously at an advantage here with more warehouses and resources to be able to get orders out the door faster.

Same Day Pickup

Now customers can purchase online and pick up at their local store, making for a faster and more convenient shopping experience.  In order to make this delivery option viable, companies use warehouses that are close to their stores.


Overall, online buyers expect options, so make sure you include next day, two day or standard shipping on your website’s checkout page.  It is important to have to appropriate shipping costs for each option displayed so the customer understands the total amount of the shipping charge.

Since customers have the ability to easily price shop online, offering a promotion on shipping can help to increase sales.  Finding a promotion that will work for your bottom line and at the same time, satisfy your customers, is important. Kable Fulfillment can help you offer your customers the shipping options they want.  Visit our website at www.kablefulfillment.com to learn more.