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Getting into e-commerce is not a new idea for many small businesses. E-commerce sales are expected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021; so it’s a market that’s hard to ignore.

But it’s also important to know what your customers are going to expect from you. A survey by Hanover Research sheds some light on that subject.

Young business leaders discuss e-commerce around a table

Hanover’s survey was released by e-commerce parcel carrier LaserShip. The survey finds different expectations for different generations but in short, customers expect fast and free shipping and fast and free returns.

“The survey results provide retailers, carriers and other verticals within the e-commerce life cycle unique insights into the next generations’ shopping and behavior patterns,” says Josh Dinneen, senior vice president of LaserShip. “Generation Z and millennials know what they want, and there is a real opportunity to stay ahead of the curve.”

Some of the key findings are:

  • 63 percent of consumers expect their items to be delivered within three days;
  • A third of those surveyed rank fast delivery as the most important consideration when shopping online;
  • Half of shoppers have abandoned a shopping cart due to high shipping fees;
  • Free or discounted shipping is the second most important consideration for shoppers; and
  • Three quarters of those surveyed look for the ability to return items for free when choosing where to shop online.

Findings are based on a survey commissioned by LaserShip and conducted by Hanover Research in Q3 2018 of 1,014 U.S. online shoppers about shipping and delivery experiences.

Read more.