Home-delivery preferences vary between generations

home delivery

When it comes to home delivery, different generations of consumers have different preferences. This is one of the findings from a new study by software vendor Descartes among more than 8,000 people across Europe and North America. In particular, the preference for fast versus low-cost delivery is strongly related to the consumer’s age.

Millennials and Gen Z consumers are the most avid online shoppers. Their digital proficiency makes them more demanding, leading to higher delivery-related expectations. For these younger consumers, delivery speed is more important than low cost. For example, a significant number of millennials and Gen Z consumers (39%) regard fast delivery as more important than older age groups (19%), the survey shows.

In contrast to the youngsters, ‘baby boomers’ and early Gen X consumers prioritize cost over speed. They make price-conscious delivery choices and are willing to forgo fast delivery to save money. Price sensitivity is a dominant factor in the decision-making process for 47% of over-55s who have less disposable income.

Room for improvement in delivery performance

Although the survey shows that delivery performance has improved by 6% compared with the previous year, the quality of service still often leaves a lot to be desired. For example, 67% of the respondents had experienced a delivery failure in the past three months, and many of them took action that translated into negative consequences for retailers or delivery companies, Descartes claims. Interestingly, younger consumers are more likely than older age groups to take some form of action in the case of delivery problems.

Home delivery as a differentiating factor

As the popularity of e-commerce continues to grow among the various generations and demographic groups, so too does the number of home deliveries. Aligning delivery options with different groups of individuals, including speed-hungry millennials, cost-conscious baby boomers and sustainability-focused Gen Z consumers, can be a gamechanger for online retailers. By understanding the various preferences, retailers can enhance the customer experience, strengthen brand loyalty and improve their bottom line, Descartes states.

According to the software vendor, the time is ripe for retailers to harness the power of demographic insights to make home delivery a strong differentiating factor in the future. By adapting to the dynamic needs of their customers, retailers can revolutionize home delivery and stay ahead in this rapidly changing landscape, Descartes says.