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For Most Online Shoppers, Home Delivery Is Still the Default Option

Though millennials are more likely to try and trust alternative methods

Consumers have an influx of delivery methods at their disposal when it comes to their digital purchases, but it seems home is where the heart is. 

According to "The eMarketer Ecommerce Insights Report," conducted in February 2018 by Bizrate Insights, a majority of US adult internet users surveyed said they prefer to get their digital purchases delivered to their home—though millennials are more likely to try more nontraditional methods, like getting something delivered to a locker, than their older cohorts. 

Respondents were members of Bizrate Rewards, the Bizrate Consumer Panel operated by Bizrate Insights, which is comprised of over 1.9 million panelists who provide feedback based on their experiences and opinions. This survey, provided by Bizrate Insights on behalf of eMarketer, provides a monthly consumer pulse of digital shopping behavior and intent.

By and large, respondents—regardless of age—were fans of home delivery. Fully 78.9% of those surveyed said they used that particular method for digital purchases.

"As creatures of habit, home delivery is the default option for most online shoppers, but across all age groups 40% of shoppers are still interacting with brick-and-mortar stores—either picking up items ordered online or shipping to the store," said Scott Macon, president of Bizrate Insights. "As retailers adopt an omnichannel perspective, customers have reacted by engaging with in-store returns and free ship-to-store options.

"This is a smart way for retailers to continue to drive traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, where shoppers will likely purchase additional items during their visit," he added.

While very few total respondents (1.4%) said they get their digital purchases delivered to a locker—possibly because they have to go somewhere else to pick up their package as opposed to just getting it shipped to their home or job—millennials (4.0%) were more likely to say they use this method than older respondents. Less than 1% of respondents ages 40 to 49 and those 60 and older said they use it. 

But that shouldn't be very surprising. Millennials, who grew up with technology and Amazon as a given, are more likely to try and trust alternative delivery methods. And their on-the-go lives lead to higher adoption of curbside pickup, which is a relatively new concept for older shoppers.