The importance of the speed of shipping to earning online customer loyalty was demonstrated by a recent report from Dotcom Distribution. The survey found 87% of online shoppers identified shipping speed as a key factor in the decision to shop with an e-commerce brand again.

In fact price wasn't even as important as speed since 67% of online shoppers would pay more money to get same-day delivery if they needed the package by a deadline, such as an anniversary.

Comparatively, 47% would pay more for same-day delivery simply because they wanted their package more quickly, demonstrating that consumers distinguish between a need and a want, yet desire fast shipping when available.

“E-commerce is taking over the retail market, so brands must ensure they take advantage of the opportunity to deliver the packages that customers expect in the most personal way," says Maria Haggerty, CEO of Dotcom Distribution. "Fulfillment and a coveted unboxing experience is a huge part of that.” 

According to the study, speed isn’t the only factor that influences customer loyalty and brand perception. Consumers care about aesthetics, too. In fact, 40% of online shoppers said they would be somewhat more likely or much more likely to purchase from a retailer that offers premium packaging. The same percentage of shoppers said that branded or gift-like packaging affects their perception of the online retailer that shipped the item.

Dotcom performed a year-over-year comparison of how branded packaging affects consumer perceptions. Here are some highlights:

● Branded packaging increasingly impacts brand perception. In 2016, 68% of online shoppers reported that branded packaging makes the brand seem more upscale, compared to 60% in 2015.

● Customers expect more. More than half (61%) said that branded aesthetics get them more excited about receiving/opening the package, compared to 49% in 2015.

● Packaging has a direct connection to value. Almost half (44%) claimed that branding reinforces that the product was worth the cost, compared to 45% in 2015.

Customers want packages that represent the brand identity they know. Seventeen percent said branded packaging reinforces that the brand is relatable, compared to 18% in 2015.

Dotcom analyzed the online shopping experience and identified the characteristics that retailers must provide to win customers and create lifetime value for them. Below are other noteworthy findings from the study:

● Quick shipping builds trust. Forty-four percent of online shoppers say faster delivery would increase their trust with a brand.

● Consumers want transparency. Forty-seven percent of online shoppers have chosen not to order from a retailer again because of lack of visibility into the status of a package throughout the fulfillment and delivery process.

● There’s an opportunity for reaching new customers. Half of online shoppers (50%) say the use of branded or gift-like packaging for online orders makes them more likely to recommend the product to friends.

● Consumers want brands to go above and beyond. Over half (55%) of online shoppers say they would be somewhat more likely or much more likely to purchase from a retailer again if they ordered a package online and it came with a free giveaway.