Free delivery, product reviews, and speedy customer service are among the top drivers for Australian online shoppers in 2021, according to the 2021 State of Ecommerce report from BigCommerce.

When given the choice between free shipping or fast shipping, consumers choose free shipping. The report found that the vast majority of shoppers (71%) stated free delivery as a priority when ordering online, while less than one in five (19%) prioritised fast delivery.

In 2020, 62% of shoppers would have switched online retailers for delivery in five days or less. Now, only 55% could be enticed by this speed of delivery.

Product reviews are now standard with 32% of shoppers reading more than five product reviews prior to purchase and there is also an increasing appetite for different payment options with 17% of 25 to 35-year-olds frequently using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services, although Paypal remains the most popular payment option.

Another interesting finding was that one-third (33%) of online shoppers abandon a shopping cart daily, up from 28%, suggesting that consumers are browsing more than they are buying. Frustration at checkout has caused 79% of consumers to abandon their carts.

High delivery costs is the biggest delivery-related factor for cart abandonment. For almost two-thirds (63%) of online shoppers, the major reason for failing to proceed through checkout is because delivery costs are too high. The consistent theme is that it is cost rather than speed of delivery that is important to shoppers.

BigCommerce vice president and general manager for Asia Pacific, Shannon Ingrey said there has been significant advancement in the adoption and standards of ecommerce in the last 12 months so the challenge for retailers is understanding what is important to their audience and building out their business accordingly.

“Across the board, the appetite for different payment options has increased, with BNPL offerings quickly gaining momentum. In addition, product reviews are increasingly significant and are playing a growing role in building consumer trust. Overall, consumers are becoming more patient and have lowered their expectations around delivery times; but not the cost of delivery,” he said.

“In 2021 it’s not enough for retailers to just have an online presence. Consumers have come to expect a cohesive, personalised and seamless shopping experience, which means retailers must look beyond functional requirements to understand the most relevant value-adds for their consumer base.”