September 4, 2013, 1:31 PM

E-retailers run ahead of consumers in defining what constitutes a fast delivery

But most web shoppers still expect expedited shipments to arrive within five days.

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Online shoppers seem a bit more easygoing about what constitutes a “high speed delivery” for e-commerce orders than do web merchants, suggest new survey findings from Manna Distribution Services.

The home-delivery arm of Manna Freight Systems Inc. asked 1,000 online shoppers how they define high-speed delivery for large items such as furniture, flat panel TVs, major appliances, mattresses and fitness equipment. 39.7% of them answered one to three days. Contrast that with similar responses from 1,000 e-retailers that sell those large items. 60% of them defined high-speed home delivery as within three business days, with the largest segment among them, 30.6%, saying two business days. 

Still, the survey shows that online consumers are hardly a forgiving bunch when it comes to quick deliveries, Manna says. 73.3% of consumers said they expect expedited deliveries within five days. 18.5% said five to seven days, while the remainder, 8.2%, said seven to 10 days.

A similar survey question, asking consumers to define expectations for “fast delivery” from e-retailers, came up with similar findings. 72.4% expected those shipments to arrive within five days, with 17.8% saying five to seven days, and 9.8% saying seven to 10 days.

The time pressure on retailers is unlikely to ease, Manna says. “This trend for speed continues for consumers as we have analyzed their buying habits over the last few years,” says Alan Meehan, president and CEO at Manna Distribution Services. “Consumers have been conditioned by the Internet and by the media to expect almost instant delivery of anything they buy online.”




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