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Free vs. Same Day Delivery

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Friday March 8, 2013 )

In a fight between free and same day delivery, who would win?

Maybe we have overestimated how strong the “I want it now” attitude is – particularly when the alternative is saving a bit of cash.

According to a survey conducted by The Boston Consulting Group, online shoppers strongly prefer free delivery and lower prices than same-day delivery of goods ordered online.

Just 9 percent of the 1,500 U.S. consumers surveyed indicated same-day delivery as the leading factor in improving their online shopping experience; while nearly three quarters opted for free delivery and half cited lower prices.

Of the “I want it now” crowd, urban affluent young ‘uns (18 to 34) are more likely to be open to paying substantially extra for same day delivery – up to $10. The not so well-to-do are prepared to pay 6 bucks, which is less than what most merchants charge.

Living where I do, the concept of same day delivery is very foreign, but it amazes me how fast stuff can be delivered when everything falls into place.

A couple of recent examples include some business cards I ordered online on Wednesday night from interstate – which arrived today; and I live in what is classed as a remote area. When the courier rocked up, I thought they must have the wrong address. Sure, I ordered three-day rush delivery (and paid for it), but given my location; I would have been quite happy with 5. Under 2 days? I’m surprised the ink on the cards was even dry :).

Another instance of super speedy delivery were goods I recently ordered from Hong Kong. They were picked up by the freight company in HK yesterday, then cleared customs in Australia and local delivery was arranged today. Incredible – I didn’t think that type of speed was possible.

However, there are still plenty of not-so-good shipping speed stories around and oddly enough they are often between the USA and Australia – another recent order took 1 month to get here after being handed over to the mystical beast that is UPS.

Yet I digress – you can read more about the Boston Consulting Group’s survey here.


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