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Shippo Updates | November 11, 2021

New Report: The State of E-Commerce Shipping in 2021

By Shippo

Each year, the Shippo team publishes our annual State of Shipping Report to highlight how evolving industry norms and trends are shaping shipping strategies, fulfillment operations, and consumer expectations over time. Today, we’re excited to announce the release of our most recent report.

Shippo’s 2021 State of Shipping Report comes on the heels of a global pandemic and growing supply chain crisis, offering some fascinating insights covering both merchant and consumer perspectives. From seasonal online shopping trends to return shipping policies, this year’s report explores a variety of hot e-commerce topics and delivers concrete takeaways for merchants building and growing their businesses today. Here are three trends to keep in mind:

Online shopping habits continue to grow even after emerging from last year’s lockdowns.

34% of consumers we surveyed said they’ll do more holiday shopping online than in previous years, and 41% do at least half of all their shopping online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. E-commerce merchants should prepare to meet this growing demand as it only continues to grow post-pandemic, potentially by implementing automations and other solutions that streamline shipping and fulfillment operations.

Logistical challenges are causing more and more headaches for e-commerce merchants.

While demand grows, logistical challenges are only becoming more, well, challenging. Confidence in carrier performance over the holidays dipped overall from what we saw in 2020, while the percentage of merchants reporting supply chain disruptions was up 26%. As we move into the new year, it’s important for merchants to consider the implications of these delays and disruptions in order to keep up with the increasing demand.

Free shipping is table stakes for consumers — merchants would do well to catch up.

When asked whether or not they offer free shipping, 31% of merchants we surveyed do not offer free shipping, while just 22% always offer free shipping. Consumer responses, on the other hand, tell us that retailers may not be hitting the mark — 33% of consumers we surveyed only purchase online with free shipping. While we understand it can’t always be an all-or-nothing decision, e-commerce merchants may want to rethink when, how, and even if they should offer free shipping at checkout.

To get the full rundown of this year’s comprehensive survey results, be sure to download the full 2021 State of Shipping Report.

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