A new study has revealed the surprising truth about consumer expectations around the last mile of their e-commerce experience.

There is a massive divide between consumers and retailers’ expectations around delivery times, according to new research from Power Retail, which found that Aussie shoppers view 3-6 days as the standard delivery time, contradicting the conventional belief it must be 1-2 days.

The research also found high expectations around the accuracy of delivery times, with almost all shoppers saying they feel that retailers should offer financial restitution for late delivery, with half expecting a refund of shipping costs.

Consumers are also more likely to walk away from a product and look elsewhere if it has longer delivery times, the research found.

But despite this, retailers don’t need to compromise on profitability when offering speedy delivery, according to the research, because shorter delivery periods alone don’t reduce the likelihood of shoppers buying from competitors.

The paper, which surveyed more than 1,500 Australian online shoppers who had made a purchase over the past 6 months, also revealed a massive appetite for convenience from Aussie consumers, with the majority of consumers finding the idea of convenience, free or low-cost parcel lockers appealing.

The results highlight the value of independently established delivery prices, the paper says, with most retailers overestimating actual consumer demand.

Managing Director of Power Retail, Grant Arnott says that the research reveals the need for retailers to re-evaluate their last mile offering to balance the need for profitability with a competitive delivery service.

“Our data shows that retailers who have invested heavily in superspeed delivery at the expense of profits may not reap the benefits they desire,” he said.

“Honouring the delivery promise is more important to consumers than all-out speed, so investing in reliable, sustainable and efficient last mile delivery is more effective than joining the space race to offer the fastest delivery option possible.”