What Is the Right Delivery Option for You? Consumer Preferences for Delivery Attributes in Online Retailing

Dung H. Nguyen, Sander de Leeuw*, Wout Dullaert, Bram P.J. Foubert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Nowadays, online retailers are offering a variety of delivery options consisting of varying combinations of delivery attributes. This study investigates how consumers value these delivery attributes (e.g., delivery speed, time slot, daytime/evening delivery, delivery date, and delivery fee) when selecting a delivery option for their online purchases. Mental accounting theory is used to frame the research and to suggest how mental accounts for money, time, and convenience influence consumer preferences for online delivery options. Specifically, the results of a conjoint analysis show that the most important attribute in shaping consumer preferences is the delivery fee, followed by nonprice delivery attributes. For individual attributes, significant differences are found in consumer preferences between gender and income groups. Cluster analysis reveals three consumer segments that show distinct preference structures: We identify a “price-oriented,” a “time- and convenience-oriented,” and a “value-for-money-oriented” consumer segment. This study has practical implications for online retailers when implementing suitable delivery strategies and designing effective delivery options to maximize consumer satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-321
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Business Logistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • conjoint analysis
  • consumer behavior
  • E-commerce logistics
  • last mile delivery
  • mental accounting theory
  • online retail


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