Order Delivery Time or Delivery Cost: What’s More Important to Buyers

Delivery man in a rush in front of a clock

When it comes to online shopping, buyers have certain expectations regarding the delivery of their orders. Among the various factors influencing their purchasing decisions, two key aspects are delivery time and cost.

By examining consumer expectations and insights, we can better understand their preferences.

Delivery Time: The Need for Speed

In today’s fast-paced world, speed is highly valued, and this applies to the delivery of online orders as well. Consumers often prioritize receiving their purchases quickly, wanting to start using or enjoying the products as soon as possible. Fast delivery is particularly important for time-sensitive items or urgent purchases.


According to a survey conducted by Easyship, a global shipping platform, 63% of online shoppers consider fast delivery as one of the most critical factors when making a purchase decision. This preference for swift delivery is reinforced by the findings of a study by Ingrid, a provider of delivery experience management solutions, which reported that 58% of consumers expect their online orders to be delivered within three to five days.

The need for speed is also influenced by the rise of e-commerce giants offering expedited delivery options such as same-day or next-day shipping. Amazon’s Prime program, for example, has set high standards for delivery speed, and consumers have become accustomed to such quick turnaround times.

Delivery Cost: Balancing Affordability and Value

While delivery time is essential to buyers, the delivery cost cannot be ignored. Consumers are constantly seeking the best value for their money and aim to minimize additional expenses associated with their purchases. Delivery costs, including shipping fees, can significantly impact their decision-making process.

In the Easyship survey, 47% of respondents cited high delivery costs as a reason for cart abandonment. This highlights the significance of affordable shipping options in ensuring a seamless checkout experience and maximizing conversions. Consumers are more likely to complete their purchases if they feel that the overall cost, including delivery, aligns with their expectations.

Moreover, cost-conscious shoppers may prioritize free shipping promotions or discounted delivery rates. According to the Ingrid study, 85% of consumers stated that free delivery significantly impacts their purchase decision. This underscores consumers’ value in minimizing or eliminating delivery costs when possible.

Cart abandonment rates vary across niches, but a study from the Baymard Institute found that the overall average rate is about 70%.

Striking a Balance

When considering whether delivery time or delivery cost is more important to buyers, it becomes clear that both factors play a crucial role in shaping their preferences. However, the weight given to each aspect may vary depending on the individual and the specific circumstances of their purchase.

For time-sensitive or urgent orders, buyers are likely to prioritize delivery time, even if it means paying a higher shipping fee. On the other hand, for non-urgent purchases or when the cost is a primary concern, consumers may be more inclined to choose slower delivery options or wait for free shipping promotions.

Finding a balance between delivery time and cost is crucial for e-commerce businesses. Offering a range of shipping options at different price points can cater to buyers’ diverse needs and preferences. Providing transparency regarding delivery estimates and costs during checkout can help manage customer expectations and minimize cart abandonment.


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