Shopify Data – Customers Want Free and Fast Shipping (Returns, Too!)

Free and Fast Shipping

E-commerce customers want free and fast shipping according to The Future of Commerce 2021 report by Shopify. The report by the e-commerce platform highlights trends in shifts in consumer behavior regarding e-commerce.

According to the report, consumers are looking for more interactions rather than mere transactions. More and more e-commerce customers are looking for speed, access to capital, faster ways to pay with digital wallets, and more flexible payments like installments.

Shopify: Customers Want Free, Fast Shipping – And Returns

This is especially true with younger consumers (between the ages of 18-34) who are more likely to discover and shop via social media; prefer to shop for sustainable and green products; and support independent businesses. Young consumers are expected to continue to change the business landscape as e-commerce charges ahead.

The report analyzes data from Shopify’s more than 1 million global retailers and an online survey of consumers in 11 countries. Some of the findings of the report include:

  • 84% of consumers have shopped online since the pandemic, compared to 65% who shopped in-store.
  • 53% of consumers avoided busy shopping times or crowds in the past six months, and 46% said they feel uncomfortable shopping in-person.
  • 79% of consumers said they will shop online regularly in six months’ time; significantly more than the 57% who say they’ll shop in-store regularly in the next six months.
  • 67% of younger consumers have shifted more to spending online since the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to the 54% average.

Understanding the E-commerce Psyche

The report predicts omnichannel features and experiences that retailers had adopted in 2020 will help them revitalize physical stores and allow them to help attract more local patrons to buy from them. 

Some 50% of e-shoppers are looking for independently-owned businesses to support. Reasons include supporting entrepreneurship, buying unique products, and experiencing good customer service. Even more encouraging 57% are willing to shop at new brands or stores for the first time.

The key for retailers is to highlight the benefits of their business models and adopt features offered by large retailers to meet consumer needs, including fast and free shipping. In terms of free delivery, 59% of consumers say free delivery would improve their online shopping experience followed by free returns (40%) and faster delivery (34%). 

More than half (53%) of consumers are looking for green or sustainable products. With almost half (49%) giving a nod to retailers donating to a cause with each purchase.


Samson Haileyesus Samson Haileyesus is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 5 years. He has several years of progressive experience in media, communication and PR working with government, NGOs and private sector.