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Consumers place premium on shipping costs, study finds

Online shoppers place a premium on shipping costs, a new study finds.
Online shoppers place a premium on shipping costs, a new study finds.

Consumers pay close attention to shipping costs when making online purchases, a new study has found.

Sixty-three percent of online shoppers in the United States consider shipping costs “very important,” according to the report by Purolator, an international logistics company. Only 23 percent rate delivery speed as the most important factor.

“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, Purlator’s president.

The trade publication Direct Marketing News reported the findings, which were obtained through phone surveys with a representative sampling of consumers.

The study found shipping costs are especially important to consumers during the holidays. Almost half of shoppers avoided making online purchases because of high shipping costs, while 43 percent didn’t hit the “buy” button because the item wouldn’t arrive in time.

Asked what delivery speed they picked most often for online purchases, four to five days was the most popular choice, named by nearly a third.

The Postal Service has made affordable shipping a priority, part of the organization’s efforts to grow its package business.

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