When it comes to delivery times for online orders, two things in particular seem to affect how quickly consumers in a country can expect to receive their goods: population density and the maturity of the e-commerce market.

diagram, Delivery expectations in European countries

Delivery expectations in European countries (click for larger image)

Residents of densely populated Belgium and the Netherlands have become accustomed to quick deliveries. The most impatient consumers can be found in the Netherlands, where more than one in three consumers expects to receive the purchased product within two days.

Delivery speed and being able to choose delivery method and pickup location are now hygiene factors in all markets. However, it’s interesting to note that consumers in rapidly growing e-commerce markets, such as Italy and Spain, say that fast and flexible deliveries are very important, while consumers in more mature markets such as Germany, the Nordic region, and the UK, do not rank this as high. This is probably because online consumers in mature markets quite simply already take delivery speed and flexibility for granted.

The different European markets are still underway in finding the balance between consumer expectations and companies’ ability to deliver. In this balance-finding process, it is still possible to exceed customers’ expectations regarding deliveries, and e-tailers would be well-advised to consider this.

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link

Image above taken from the latest ”E-commerce in Europe” report.