With many companies having begun their holiday sales even before the traditional Black Friday discounts, the holiday shopping season is well underway. And as consumers take to the Internet to make their purchases, 59% of U.S. adults say that free shipping is very important.
When specifically compared to other factors of online shopping this holiday, free shipping emerges as the point of interest for 41% of respondents. And while shopping from a trusted website is the second-most important factor, with a 21-point gap between the two, it’s clear that the prospect of free shipping has major appeal.
Of course, some shoppers will prioritize certain factors more than others, and the data show that women have a major preference for free shipping. They are, however, more likely than men to be online shopping this holiday.
While adults ages 35-54 are driving the demand for free shipping–and the convenience of having those items delivered straight to their door–adults ages 18-24 prefer the option to buy online and pick up in store. Clearly, Gen Z is all about the in-person shopping experience this holiday season, as we saw in a recent look at Black Friday shopping plans.
Given the way that shipping can increase the cost of an order, it may not be surprising that those who will spend less this holiday season are the most enthusiastic about free shipping. On the other hand, those who plan to spend more are the most interested in ordering online and picking up in store.
That said, free shipping appeals to consumers of every income level, though notably more so in middle to upper income brackets. Picking up curbside is more popular amongst low-income earners and expedited shipping is a priority for high-income earners.
Those who haven’t yet started their holiday shopping are the biggest fans of free shipping. However, when they do start shopping, those who plan to spend most of their money at stores like Walmart and Target will be the most eager to get free shipping on their order.
So as Americans open their wallets for holiday purchases this year, the first item on the list may very well be shipping for free.