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The State of Fulfillment: Challenges and Opportunities Today’s Brands Face

We surveyed 1,013 regular eCommerce shoppers aged 18 and above and 150 retailers who shed light on their expectations and priorities.
happy woman opening a package

In recent years, the eCommerce realm has experienced a surge in interest, prompting retailers to reevaluate their strategies for fostering customer loyalty while enhancing profitability. The challenge lies in finding a delicate balance between meeting customer expectations and maintaining a sustainable bottom line. To understand this complex landscape, Radial teamed up with Retail Dive’s studioID to conduct two comprehensive research studies. 

We surveyed 1,013 regular eCommerce shoppers aged 18 and above and 150 retailers in the United States. These consumers, who prefer shopping through the most convenient channel, shed light on their expectations and priorities. 

Key takeaways from the report:

  • Consumers prioritize flexibility and multiple options in obtaining products, including various shipping methods. 

  • Free shipping is highly preferred by consumers, but they are willing to accept longer shipping times to save costs. 

  • Retailers are eager to offer omnichannel solutions and meet consumer demands for diverse shipping options. 

  • Consumers prefer free returns, with in-store returns being a favorable option. 

  • Consumers claim to value sustainability, but when making choices, fast delivery often takes precedence over environmentally friendly options. 

  • Eco-friendly packaging is identified as a significant change consumers wish to see from retailers. 

  • Retailers outsourcing fulfillment experience benefits such as improved customer service, access to real-time data, and efficient supply chain management. 


The report provides valuable insights into the dynamics between consumers and retailers in the evolving eCommerce landscape. Striking the right balance between meeting consumer expectations and ensuring profitability requires a nuanced approach. As brands grapple with these challenges, the role of a reliable 3PL partner becomes increasingly pivotal in delivering a seamless and superior eCommerce experience. 

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