The Price of Speed: Impacts of Expedited Delivery on Consumer Behavior and Sustainability in E-commerce

Workshop’s Topic: Fast delivery is a key strategy for e-commerce platforms to attract new customers and amplify revenue. However, its impacts on consumer purchasing behavior and the associated operational and environmental implications remain unclear. In this paper, we leverage a natural experiment the opening of a new local warehouse to investigate how expedited delivery impacts consumer purchasing behavior and the fulfillment and environmental costs. Our results show that consumers order more frequently and spend more on the platform after delivery speed improves, but basket sizes decrease. These results suggest that consumers place smaller orders more frequently with expedited delivery. This shift could potentially increase fulfillment and environmental costs for the platform. We propose category expansion and diminished patience to wait as two potential mechanisms and provide supportive empirical evidence. Using industry statistics, we analyze the effects of expedited delivery on the platforms fulfillment cost and its associated sustainability implications.

Time and Location: 13:30-15:30 PM (GMT+8), Room A523 (School of Management)

Language: Bilingual (Chinese and English)