In 2019, online shopping has become a new normal. From Black Friday deals to grocery delivery, it seems there is no limit to what can be ordered online. However, shipping costs are one factor that must be considered when placing any online order. To better understand the role that shipping costs play in the larger online shopping experience, CivicScience asked over 4,000 U.S. adults about how they value free shipping.

As the data show, 66% of U.S. adults consider free shipping very important.

And women feel strongly about the necessity of free shipping.

However, further research clarifies that free shipping is important across the board. The desire to have an item shipped without charge is relevant to all ages, especially the 35-54 age group. It’s also of equal importance for those who make under $50k and over $100k. This suggests that the desire for free shipping comes not from one’s income level, but perhaps from something less tangible and more universal: an affinity for spending less.  

Shopping and Free Shipping: The Ideal Combination

There is also clear evidence that the more online shopping a person does, the more value they place on free shipping.

This may not necessarily be shocking, but it is important to keep in mind how increased online shopping compounds desire for free shipping. For those who do a majority of their shopping online, all of those shipping fees could add up. Conversely, shoppers may find it easier to spend greater amounts of money if they know they won’t have to pay shipping costs.

Other relevant habits of online shoppers include a self-perceived addiction to their digital devices, with those most addicted also identifying as those most concerned about free shipping.

This suggests that mobile-friendly shopping sites should be a high priority, to ensure that the most avid online shoppers can always have access. Not to mention, that device addiction may cause increased levels of online shopping – impulsive or otherwise. 

Ultimately, free shipping matters to everyone. However, there is a special uptick in free shipping interest during the middle stages of life. The overwhelming amount of interest carries the potential to deeply sway purchasing decisions. Sites that offer free shipping, it seems, may appeal more broadly than similar sites that do not. So, for retailers looking to get ahead, it may be time to re-evaluate shipping costs.