Purolator Survey: Online Shoppers Willing to Sacrifice Delivery Speed for Lower Shipping Cost

Online shoppers in Canada and the United States are willing to sacrifice delivery speed for a lower shipping cost, a recent survey by Purolator International revealed.

According to a survey of Canadian and U.S. shoppers conducted by Purolator International, the cost of shipping was identified most often as the single most important concern in terms of the delivery of their purchases. The survey found that 76% of Canadian consumers who made an online purchase from a U.S.-based retailer within the last six months, as well as 63% of U.S. online shoppers, identified shipping costs as very important; while 44% and 32%, respectively, said it was the single most important factor.  

Most shoppers chose extended delivery times for their online purchases; a majority of Canadians (78%) and Americans (58%) typically opted for shipping that took four days or longer. A majority of online shoppers in both countries (65% Canadian, 55% American) demonstrated this willingness to wait, responding that they have ‘very often’ or ‘always’ adjusted their delivery date to a longer period to obtain a reduced cost; and 37% and 28%, respectively, said the availability of an economical delivery option with a longer delivery time was very important to them.  Two-thirds of shoppers in both nations identified a free shipping option as very important in their purchase decision making.

“Even in this day and age of ‘I want it now,’ when consumers balance cost versus convenience, they most often fall on the side of cost,” said John Costanzo, President of Purolator International, the United States-based subsidiary of Purolator Inc., which is the leading provider of cross-border logistics between the U.S. and Canada.  “These findings represent an opportunity for U.S. retailers looking to expand their reach across the northern border, by identifying what helps to drive – or hinder – final purchase decision making,” he added.  An estimated $300 billion of goods are imported into Canada from the United States annually, Costanzo noted.

Shipping cost and time for delivery become especially of issue during the holiday shopping season, as 63% Canadians and 49% Americans said they decided against purchasing a holiday item last year because of high shipping costs; 53% and 43%, respectively, decided against a holiday purchase because it would not be delivered in time.

Postal Delivery Option and Cross-Border Concerns

Regarding the delivery of their purchases, more than half (58% Canada, 57% U.S.) of the online shoppers ranked the reputation and reliability of the carrier as a very important consideration. In Canada, 80% of consumers surveyed said they would choose postal service delivery in order to obtain a lower shipping cost. A majority of Canadians (62%) and Americans (60%) said they see postal delivery as an acceptable alternative to other types of carrier delivery services.  

“Our postal hybrid solution, PuroPost, addresses this consumer preference, giving Canadians making online purchases from U.S. e-tailers a courier-like experience at a cost they are willing to pay,” Costanzo said.  “With PuroPost, we can deliver to virtually all of the Canadian population with transit times that match industry standard ground trans-border services,” Costanzo added.

Canadians purchasing from across the border are concerned about additional fees as well, with nearly half of those surveyed identifying taxes and tariffs as a very important concern – 15% of Canadians surveyed said it was the single most important factor in the decision for their purchase.

With PuroPost, all duties, taxes, and fees are paid up front by the shipper, so customers will not be surprised with an unexpected bill at delivery.  And, with “trusted trade partner” status with both the U.S. and Canadian governments, the majority of PuroPost shipments arrive at the border pre-cleared.

About Purolator International, Inc.

Purolator International is a subsidiary of Purolator Inc., Canada’s largest integrated freight, parcel and logistics solutions provider.  Purolator International specializes in the air and surface forwarding of Express, Freight and Parcel shipments, customs brokerage, and fulfillment and delivery services to, from and within Canada.  Purolator International has received numerous industry awards for its superior service and innovative solutions, including the 2014 “100 Great Supply Chain Projects” by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine, the 2013 and 2014 “Top 100 Great Supply Chain Partners” list by Supply Chain Brain magazine, and Logistics Management’s  2012 Quest for Quality Award.

In addition to facilities throughout New York, Purolator International has locations in key U.S. markets including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Saint Louis. 

For more information about Purolator International, visit www.purolatorinternational.com