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Speed, Thrills, and Sustainability: Altman Solon’s Store-to-Door Consumer Survey reveals buying habits of online shoppers as 90% experience excitement when buying online

Boston, MA ― New e-commerce consumers crave speed, sustainable packaging, and an emotional connection to online shopping, according to a new consumer survey released today by Telecom, Media, and Technology strategy consulting firm Altman Solon. 

Altman Solon’s 2023 Store-to-Door Supply Chain Survey shows that as online shopping continues to grow since the COVID-19 pandemic, six new profiles of consumers are moving beyond traditional concerns like cost and convenience to prioritize environmental sustainability and shopper emotions. One new shopper profile, Thrill Shoppers, is composed of 89% of online shoppers that report feelings of excitement when their package arrives. In addition, 74% of shoppers anxiously await their packages arrival, and 80% say that online purchases feel like getting a gift.    

“Excitement isn’t the first word you typically associate with online shopping, but interestingly our survey reveals strong evidence to the contrary. Say hello to ‘Thrill Shoppers’, a segment of online shoppers who get a rush from purchasing products online and maintain that excitement through opening the package,” said Altman Solon Partner Patrick Marshall. “Online retailers that work closely with their supply-chain partners – from order through the last mile – to tap into this consumer excitement will have an advantage connecting with this surprisingly large group of consumers.” 

The survey identifies six consumer profiles of new e-commerce shoppers: 

  • Super Shoppers – Not only do the majority (59%) of Super Shoppers say fast shipping is important, but also expect it – and will cancel orders that won’t arrive quickly enough. 
  • Thrill Shoppers – To reach this shopper group, who are more excited when shopping online than at brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers must reevaluate the supply chain – from start to finish – to understand how it captures shopper emotions. 
  • Green Shoppers – Eco-focused shoppers who will pay more for sustainable packaging but are also reachable through social media advertising: Nearly three-fourths of Green Shoppers will immediately buy products in social media ads if they appeal to them. 
  • City Shoppers – As stores have left urban centers since the pandemic, City Shoppers are seeking convenience and options online, with 73% expecting their deliveries the next day. 
  • Rural Shoppers – Living in areas without many stores open late, 86% of Rural Shoppers choose online shopping because of the 24/7 access – the largest of any geographic group.  
  • Suburban Shoppers – Despite 70% of Suburban Shoppers preferring to online shopping over brick-and-mortar stores, since the pandemic this profile has reduced its frequency of buying home furnishings, décor, and goods (80%), as well as clothing and fashion accessories (76%). 

Since some of these shopper profiles overlap, some common themes emerge, particularly around shipping speed. Consumers have become more conditioned to expect rapid or even next-day delivery and the majority (59%) of Super Shoppers will cancel orders that won’t arrive quickly enough.  

“Even as many consumers are placing more importance on issues like sustainability, the survey shows that core functions like speed of delivery and package tracking are still top priorities for consumers across the shopper profiles,” said Altman Solon Director Derek Powell. “Whether it’s ensuring fast shipping or quality control, it is vital for online retailers to regularly audit their supply-chain partners and use real-time data to develop a flexible, agile, and lean supply chain.” 

Altman Solon’s 2023 Store-to-Door Supply Chain Survey polled nearly 450 U.S. consumers to explore online purchasing habits across consumer segments. More survey analysis, including a focus on returns, will be published this fall. 

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