New research shows Millennials are shaping the future of e-commerce and logistics


Millennials are becoming a driving force behind changes to how retailers deliver goods, according to new research.

A new study by Sendcloud showed four out of five Millennials (aged between 25-40) in the UK consider flexibility as a key element of delivery compared to just half (53%) of Boomers (aged between 57-65).

This trend is expected to continue in the future as the buying power of Generation Y grows, with the study showing Millennials spend an average of £139 per order online as opposed to Boomers paying around £61.

Convenience driving flexibility

Perhaps as a reflection of more chaotic schedules, 63% of Millennials want to be able to change the delivery time of a parcel even if it’s already on its way, with over half (58%) also wanting to change the delivery address while en route.

These preferences drop significantly in the Boomer generation, with just 27% wanting to change the delivery time and only a quarter (25%) believing that changing the address is necessary.

“This research provides valuable insights into the differences between generations, and it’s especially interesting to see that Millennials are setting the standard for online orders and flexible delivery services,” says Rob van den Heuvel, CEO and co-founder at Sendcloud.

“The challenge now for shipping and logistics providers is to meet the demand from consumers and provide more choice on where, when and how they receive online orders,” continues van den Heuvel.

Premium shipping options on the rise

Millennial shoppers were found to be significantly more likely to choose premium shipping options at a time that is convenient for them. Three quarters (76%) of Boomers simply choose the most standard delivery option – just half (53%) of Millennials do the same.

Next day (52%) and same day (31%) deliveries were far more popular with Millennials compared to Boomers, for which next day (36%) and same day (14%) are considered less of a priority. Other premium options such as weekend delivery, CO2 neutral delivery and delivery in a parcel locker are also significantly more popular among Millennials.

And although these premium delivery options often come with a price tag, Millennials are willing to splash up to £5.10 in shipping costs for an order of just £15. Boomers meanwhile are only willing to spend £3.60 on average for the same priced item.

Van den Heuvel concludes, “Meeting the demands of the Millennial generation will become increasingly important as their buying power continues to grow in the coming years. For online retailers to maximize their potential and profits, it’s crucially important that they already embrace flexible delivery as a minimum requirement.”