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The Average Online Purchase Delivery Now Takes 2-3 Days, Thanks to Amazon. Small Businesses Are Finding Ways to Keep Up.

September 04, 2019

In 2012, online shoppers received packages within 5.5 days. In 2019, Clutch found that online shoppers typically receive packages within 2-3 days, and late package deliveries even cause some shoppers to abandon companies. E-commerce giants such as Amazon drive consumers’ expectations for lightning-quick shipping, but as 1 in 12 small businesses close every year, how can they meet online shoppers’ quick delivery desires?

WASHINGTON, DC – September 4, 2019 – When an online shopper clicks “Purchase” on an Amazon order, they often don’t think about the large reaction they set off with their order – and all the technology and manpower required to get an item from a warehouse to their doorstep within two days or less.Graph - 85% of online shoppers purchased off Amazon in the past six months

Small businesses don’t typically have the same resources as e-commerce giants such as Amazon. A new report examines how those small businesses keep up with online shoppers’ desire for fast shipping.

Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews platform, surveyed 528 online shoppers to understand their delivery expectations. It spoke with small business owners and logistics experts on the data to highlight strategies small businesses have adopted to ship quickly – or to communicate with customers when delivery does take longer than two days. 

Late Package Deliveries Cause Some Online Shoppers to Abandon Companies

Nearly half of online shoppers (48%) in Clutch’s survey say they are unlikely to purchase from a company again if it sends a package late.

It can be tempting for a small business to offer quick shipping to gain more sales. However, if the retailer promises quick shipping and doesn’t consistently deliver on time, the backlash from customers can be more costly than the money earned from extra sales.

It’s more sustainable long-term for a small business to be upfront about how long delivery actually takes.

Joel Poznansky, owner of Wicked Uncle, an online gift retailer, chose not to offer overnight delivery.

“With gifts, including birthday gifts, offering overnight option was too painful,” Poznansky said. “Although it costs us some lost sales, we have to live with it to ensure goodwill continues.”

Small Businesses Adjust Available Products to Ship Quickly

The largest percentage of online shoppers (48%) say they typically receive packages within 2-3 days.

Experts agreed that Amazon’s push for one and two-day shipping reset shoppers’ expectations.

“Amazon is setting the standards [of shipping],” said Shariq Mansoor, chief technology officer at Aera. “When consumers are ordering something now … if it’s telling them it’s going to take 6-8 days, they’re trying to figure out if they can get it on Amazon.”

Some small businesses are adjusting the products they create and sell to make faster delivery possible on a small scale.

Kara Buntin, owner of A Cake To Remember, reduced the number of items she produces, focusing instead on items that are ready-to-ship.

“I make more things ahead [of time] and am able to get them in the mail the day after they're ordered, if not the same day,” Buntin said.

Clutch’s survey included 528 U.S. respondents who ordered an item online within the past six months.

Read the full report:

For questions, comments, or an introduction to the experts and small business owners included in the report, contact Riley Panko at [email protected] 

About Clutch

Clutch is the leader in connecting global service providers with corporate buyers from around the world. The ratings and reviews platform publishes the most extensive and referenced client reviews in the B2B services market. Clutch has grown by 50% or more every year throughout the past five years and is ranked #412 in Inc.'s 2018 and #773 in Inc.’s 2019 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. and #27 in LinkedIn's list of the top 50 startups. The companies Clutch helps come from the U.S., Canada, Central and Eastern Europe, India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.


Riley Panko
[email protected]
(202) 899-2779