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Who's Penny-Pinching When It Comes to Online Shipping?

Shipping costs peeve female, older shoppers the most

Female and older shoppers aren’t feeling digital shipping costs, according to a June 2014 study by Harris Interactive.

Among US internet users surveyed who had at least one digital shopping pet peeve, shipping costs were the most common, cited by 66% of respondents, compared with 38% who said getting an item that didn’t look like it did online was irritating, the No. 2 response.

Broken down by gender, more than seven in 10 female internet users said shipping costs peeved them, compared with 60% of male respondents. Meanwhile, millennial web users, often considered frugal, were the age group least likely to care about shipping costs. Six in 10 18- to 36-year-olds cited shipping fees as annoying, compared with 68% of Gen Xers and 69% of baby boomers. This percentage dropped slightly for those 68 and older.

Likely due to their aversion to shipping fees, female and older internet users were the least willing to pay more for same-day and overnight delivery when shopping digitally. More than one-quarter of men said they would pay for either, compared with 18% of women. A high 37% of millennials were willing to pay for either service, compared with just 6% of matures, 15% of baby boomers and 20% of Gen Xers.

But no matter how you slice it, most respondents would rather save a buck than get their items instantly: 70% wouldn’t pay for same-day or overnight delivery when shopping digitally.

Based on March 2014 polling by UPS, comScore and the e-tailing group, shipping costs played a critical role in online shopping cart abandonment. Around 60% of US digital buyers said they abandoned their digital carts because shipping costs pushed their purchase total up more than expected. A similar percentage of respondents actually loaded up their baskets to see what their orders would cost with shipping and then compared that total with other sites. Half of respondents had also ditched their digital shopping carts because their order totals weren’t high enough to qualify for free shipping.

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