According to an exclusive consumer survey conducted by Internet Retailer and Bizrate Insights, free shipping is more important to shoppers than fast shipping, and most shoppers will wait longer for a delivery if shipping is free. But they won’t wait too long.

Many online retailers are juggling two main priorities when it comes to delivery—they want to get products to consumers’ doorsteps quickly, but they also want to make shipping free. So, when it comes down to it, which, in the consumer’s mind, is more important?

According to a new exclusive survey conducted by Internet Retailer and Bizrate Insights of 2,815 U.S. consumers, it’s free shipping, and the vast majority of shoppers will wait longer if shipping is free.

In fact, more than half of survey participants rated free shipping as more important, while only 2.5% say fast shipping is more important. (Around 47% both are equally important).


However, some of those expectations depend how essential a product is to daily life. For example, 6% of consumers say they will wait no more than 24 hours for delivery of household items like toilet paper, and 5% say the same for baby products like formula or diapers. On the other hand, only around 1% of consumers expect apparel or electronics deliveries within 24 hours.

Nearly 90% say they are willing to wait longer for delivery of an online order in exchange for free shipping.

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Wait times consumers deem acceptable for other categories are as follows:

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