Canada Post publishes online shopping survey

Research published by Canada Post has concluded that online shoppers ‘love a bargain’ and are therefore willing to “sacrifice fast shipping for free shipping”.

The white paper added that this could mean that online shoppers “will buy from a competitor who offers free shipping or even delay their purchase because they expect a merchant to offer free shipping soon as part of a promotion”.

The Canadian postal operator commissioned the research for the white paper, “Is the price right? Designing an effective shipping pricing strategy “, to get a better handle on what combination of shipping options Canadians prefer. More than 4,000 online shoppers shared their views.

“Canada Post works with retailers of every size to support their growth and success in e-commerce,” said Jennifer Mach, Strategy & E-commerce Market Development, Canada Post. “This research gave us incredible data, which we’ve used to offer small- and medium-sized merchants strategies and tools they can apply as they create, adjust or even experiment with their shipping strategy.”

According to the research, two thirds of online shoppers have abandoned their shopping carts due to shipping costs being too high. 70% of shoppers however would shop more often with a merchant if they were offered free shipping with a minimum purchase.

The research suggested that free shipping has become a “table stake”.

“Conversion rates drop by as much as 50% if free shipping is not offered, and 66% of online shoppers will sacrifice fast shipping for free shipping,” commented Canada Post.

The size of this research is quite small in terms of numbers surveyed, so may not be fully representative of the views of Canadian shoppers. It does however give a pointer to their particular shopping habits. It is important to note that different nations have different online shopping habits, and these should not be interpreted as being the same as the UK and Europe for example.