Marketplaces are booming in Europe. In just two years, marketplace revenue doubled, reaching €200 Billion in 2022 (1). This remarkable growth presents significant opportunities for retailers, but it can also be challenging to stand out from the competition in an increasingly crowded field.
Increasingly, it is the marketplace delivery experience that makes or breaks a consumer’s relationship with a marketplace retailer. Three key factors that make up the delivery experience are: delivery time, delivery cost, and sustainable delivery options.
Expectations are very high, and if brands want to win the initial sale and generate repeat business, it is essential to meet the customers’ demands.
Delivery time: they want it now
When do your marketplace customers want their deliveries? Now, or at least by tomorrow.
85% of European online shoppers say that delivery time is one of the most important factors in their purchasing decisions. Not only that, but 57% want same day or next day delivery. (2)
Expectations can be even higher in some countries. In the Netherlands, where demand for same day delivery has surged by 69%, a remarkable 58% of consumers expect same day delivery on orders placed by noon. (3)
94% of shoppers in Spain say that they check delivery time every time they shop. (2)
The message for retailers is clear: your logistics and delivery operations have to be flawless. Next day and even same day delivery options must be available, especially in certain markets.
Delivery price: they want it for less
It’s not enough to offer fast, reliable shipping. Delivery costs can be a significant barrier to conversion on marketplaces. The global rise of Amazon Prime has trained consumers to expect fast, free shipping (notwithstanding the membership fee) on countless goods.
In the UK, 69% expect free shipping (and 54% expect free return shipping too!). (4) Among consumers who do not always expect free shipping, it is common to expect it for purchases over a minimum threshold.
Brands who have long used higher free shipping thresholds to increase AOV on their own websites may have to shift their thinking for marketplaces, where a low free shipping threshold may be necessary to win the sale.
In fact, 36% of Europeans said that shipping costs determine whether or not to complete a purchase. In countries like France, 38% report that delivery cost is the most important factor in their decision. (2)
It is especially important to get shipping rates right on marketplaces because your listing is often in competition with the same or similar product – the final decision on which to buy often comes down to shipping costs. Fast, free shipping will always win the sale.
Sustainable delivery: they want it greener
European consumers are increasingly concerned with sustainable delivery of their orders. 53% report that more eco-friendly packaging and delivery are important to them. (5)
Examples of more sustainable delivery practices include:
- Delivery to parcel drop locations and lockers
- Unattended deliveries, which reduces vehicle idling time
- Carbon-neutral shipping options
- Eco-friendly packaging
This is an interesting counterpoint to the previous two factors, because some customers are willing to pay more (69%) and wait longer (58%) for sustainable deliveries. (5)
It should be noted that this trend varies considerably by country and age, especially when it comes to sometimes paying more or being willing to spend more every time. Shoppers under 34 were more than twice as likely as age 55+ shoppers to say they will always pay more for sustainable delivery or packaging.
Only 40% of customers in the Netherlands rated green delivery as important to them, whereas over 20% of Swedish consumers said they will always pay more for sustainable deliveries. (5)
The takeaway is that at this time, most shoppers want greener options available to them, but some may still prefer to choose the more convenient, faster, and/or less expensive delivery method. Above all, consumers want to be able to choose the combination of factors that matter the most to them individually.
Delivery experience wins customers for today and tomorrow
The importance of the marketplace delivery experience cannot be overstated. In the competitive marketplace landscape, the retailers who can offer reliable, fast, free or low-cost delivery with green options will be the winners.
Not only will these practices help win the initial sale and gain repeat customers, a good delivery experience is critical for gaining the all-important 5-star reviews that will win your next new customers.
Eager to learn more about how to improve your marketplace delivery experience? Contact us, our marketplace team has the expertise you need.