Prime Day is coming, and half of shoppers expect free home delivery from everyone

Half expect free delivery, while a quarter want Click & Collect as standard

Home delivery charges have become a key influence on which retailers shoppers choose, according to research released ahead of Amazon Prime Day on 13-14 October and the upcoming Christmas buying rush.

Half of UK shoppers (53%) expect free delivery as standard, while almost as many (46%) say they wouldn’t purchase from stores that charge for delivery over a certain threshold, and only 15% would pay extra for expedited delivery.

The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by shopper marketing specialist SMP, indicated Click & Collect services are the second most important deciding factor. These were cited by over a quarter of respondents (27%) – although an equal number felt Click & Collect wasn’t important to them.

Almost a quarter of consumers (23%) admitted that access to next-day delivery was a key contributor in leading their purchase decisions. In addition, 29% shop more at Amazon now than they did pre-COVID – and that figure has risen by 10% since April.

Peter Martin, managing director at SMP, comments: “Home delivery is the new retail battleground, with so many of us staying home. It’s no surprise that Amazon has emerged as the main beneficiary of our changing shopping habits and this year’s Prime Day is set to be huge, with an online retail Christmas just around the corner.

“While the shifting retail landscape presents a major opportunity for brands to broaden their audience, it’s not without challenges. Consumers are coming to expect the same options as they get from Amazon – notably free delivery – from across the retail sector as a whole.”

The research also revealed shoppers are now buying a broader range of goods online and free delivery is affecting those purchase decisions as well. Almost a quarter (23%) of consumers say they plan to try the Amazon Fresh service, which recently announced free delivery to Prime members, and one in five would consider using it for their main grocery shop.

Peter Martin adds: “The prognosis for Amazon’s new grocery service looks very positive, especially with its Morrisons partnership. It will be interesting to see how the broader home delivery market develops in Q4 and if any other traditional players will seek to differentiate through partnerships. These could take in ecommerce businesses, digital-first courier firms, or indeed with erstwhile competitors.”

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