The Race Is On: 43% Of Consumers Expect ‘Much Faster’ Deliveries In 2018

As retailers race to speed up deliveries of online orders, consumers’ expectations also are increasing rapidly. An even bigger concern: consumers’ negative experiences with e-Commerce deliveries have shot up this year, and they are not receiving same-day delivery options in many of the categories where they would most like to use them.

The third annual survey of shopping and delivery expectations from Dropoff, a 24-hour same-day delivery service currently operating in 18 cities in eight states, found that 43% of consumers expect companies to have “much faster” delivery times in 2018, up from 35% in 2017.

More consumers are choosing same-day delivery. According to the survey, 31% of consumers opted for same-day delivery in 2018, as opposed to just 17% the prior year. And consumers are willing to pay extra for same- or next-day delivery, with 47% of respondents reporting that they had done so. A hefty 74% of consumers who received same-day delivery said they are more likely to purchase from that company again.


While Amazon is responsible in part for raising consumers’ expectations on delivery speed, as the retailer rolls out Amazon Now two-hour delivery to Prime members across the country, shoppers are still open to other options. Nearly two thirds (65%) of consumers said they are willing to shift to other retailers that can offer the same fast delivery options as Amazon.

Increases In Damaged, Late And Lost Packages Reported

Speed of delivery is not the only factor affecting customer satisfaction. Dropoff probed consumers to find out how well delivery services were performing. Year over year, consumers reported a significant hike in delivery disappointments:

  • More than half (56%) of survey respondents reported packaging was damaged when it arrived, up 12 percentage points from 42% in 2017;
  • More than three-quarters (78%) of consumers got deliveries later than expected, up from 70%;
  • 41% had items arrive in damaged condition, up from 34%; and
  • 31% were missing packages that never arrived, up from 25%.

Damaged goods have a particularly negative impact on customer perceptions: 79% of respondents said that they would not purchase from a retailer again after such an occurrence.

Consumers also commented on several other factors that have an impact on their perceptions of delivery quality:

  • Consumers indicated that they are open to retailers using third-party delivery services, with only 12% saying they prefer to have packages delivered by the merchant from which they purchased the items;
  • The vast majority of consumers, 88%, want the ability to track their shipments in real time;
  • Three-quarters of respondents agreed that they want a “more professional” delivery service, an increase from 72% in 2017; and
  • Only 14% of respondents signaled that they trust peer-to-peer delivery services, which changed little from 13% last year.

Same-Day Opportunities High For Grocery, Health Care

Consumers were asked which categories of products they most want to be delivered on the same day they order them, and how often that expectation is met. The survey uncovered sizeable gaps that could represent major opportunities for retailers selling those goods:

  • 64% of consumers want same-day delivery of groceries, but only 19% receive it;
  • 46% of consumers want same-day delivery of health care products, but only 4% receive it;
  • 42% of consumers want same-day delivery of specialty snacks, but only 7% receive it;
  • 41% of consumers want same-day delivery of alcohol, but only 5% receive it; and
  • 28% of consumers want same-day delivery of household products, but only 5% receive it.

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