Cargus, the first courier company on the Romanian market, started between August and September 2022 an extensive study on the interest of consumers in online shopping and their preferences regarding delivery methods. The study also analyzed the profile and options of online stores for the delivery solutions they offer to customers.
About half of consumers (45%) purchase products and services online once a month, while 55% of them buy with greater frequency, even 10 times a month. In the top of the purchased products from local and international online stores are those in the fashion category (clothing and footwear), representing 29% of consumer options and IT&C, electronics and home appliances (25%). These are followed by beauty and personal care products (14%), home and garden (12%), while books account for 2% of all electronic orders.
Also, the Cargus study shows that 62% of respondents prefer card payment, and more than 90% return a very small percentage of purchased products (below 3%).
Click & collect delivery is gaining ground in consumer preferences
Regarding the delivery options, the study shows that 1 in 3 buyers prefer the products to be delivered at a click & collect point (SHIP & GO partner stores and locker points). Among the most important advantages identified by consumers are: lower delivery costs (at SHIP & GO partner stores) – 74.1%, proximity to home or workplace (72.9%) and shorter delivery time for purchased products (70.4%).
Even if the delivery method to the address remains the most used, click & collect solutions are quickly gaining ground because they offer buyers the opportunity to simply and quickly pick up their parcel from a point of their choice and save time. Cargus currently manages a network of over 900 SHIP & GO points (its own and partners), and this autumn will launch its own network of lockers.
The most appreciated benefits of locker delivery
Regarding the option of delivery by locker, the most appreciated benefits by online shoppers are the location in the proximity of the home or workplace (75.4%), digital access – the possibility to collect the package using only the mobile phone (75.2%) or the low environmental impact (65.3%).
A powerful differentiator that makes buyers choose delivery through the locker is the freedom to choose the place from which to pick up their purchased products and the time interval, without depending on the schedule or loading of couriers.
How do online stores deliver?
The online stores included in this analysis by Cargus also align with the preferences of the buyers. Lower delivery costs are the main benefit and reason why e-commerce platforms offer customers click & collect delivery. Other important benefits for online stores are: proximity, extensive network of locations, the possibility to deliver a larger volume of packages in a shorter time and digital innovations, which facilitate customers’ access to the purchased products. Also, 30% of the online stores that were part of the Cargus study offer shoppers the opportunity to pick up their parcel from a partner store or from a network of lockers.
In terms of the volume of products sold, approximately 41% of the online stores part of the study deliver to customers over 200 parcels monthly, fiting into the category of medium-sized businesses. At the same time, more than a third of the traders analyzed deliver between 50 and 200 parcels.
Payment of parcels before delivery is gaining more and more ground among online stores – 59% of merchants offer shoppers the possibility to pay online and by PO. Moreover, 70% of the ecommerce platforms in the study mention that they have a return rate of less than 3% of the total products sold in a month.
As for the counties where the online stores operate, the first place is occupied by Bucharest – Ilfov (with a third of the total), followed by Cluj, Hunedoara, Brasov, Dolj and Constanta. The Cargus study was attended by online stores that sell a diverse range of products, from fashion, IT&C, beauty and care products, home and garden items, to animal feed and books.