Survey: 77% of Americans Report Using Delivery Services in the Past Year
It may come as no surprise that, throughout the pandemic, the popularity of delivery services has ramped up. This not only restaurant delivery services such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash but also grocery services like Instacart and several other “to your door” courier options. Now, a survey commissioned by LendingTree and performed by Qualtrics finds that the vast majority of Americans have utilized some kind of delivery platform in the past year, with many also noting that they’ve been overspending on such services.
According to the survey, 77% of respondents used an on-demand delivery service within the past 12 months. Extrapolated, that amounts to 196 million Americans. However, it should be noted that Qualtrics included “retail delivery” options such as Amazon in their findings. In fact, retail delivery services proved the most popular, with 51% of respondents reporting having used one or more of them in the past year. Meanwhile, food delivery services weren’t far behind, with 45% of those surveyed utilizing them while 29% say they’ve used grocery delivery services.
Of course, with many delivery services tacking on various fees, the costs associated with ordering from these platforms can add up. To that point, the survey found that consumers spend an average of $157 per month on delivery services. These figures were even higher among Millennials and Gen Zers, spending an average of $208 and $206 per month respectively. Elsewhere, Baby Boomers saw a much lower monthly average of just $79. Overall, 29% of respondents say they overspend on delivery services — including 48% of Gen Zers and 39% of Millennials surveyed.
As one might imagine, a big reason why consumers keep turning to delivery services despite the costs is the added convenience. This led 70% of respondents to state that they’re willing to pay more in order to avoid such tasks as driving to the store, carrying items, etc. Furthermore, 37% of those surveyed said they’d be willing to pay up to $50 per month if it meant saving time while 14% said they’d spend up to $99 and 10% upped that figure to $149.
Although delivery service spending did increase during the pandemic, the survey also found that it was quite popular before that as well. 30% of respondents said they placed delivery orders at least once per week pre-pandemic, with this figure rising to 37% in the past year. Notably, even as venues reopen, perhaps making delivery less necessary than it once was, 45% of those surveyed expect that they’ll continue using these services at a similar clip as they did during the height of the pandemic.
On the one hand, the increasing popularity of delivery services could be beneficial to side hustlers as several platforms utilize an independent contractor model. But, on the other end of the equation, the fees associated with these services can really impact consumer’s finances — and not all of those fees go to the person making the deliveries. That said, the convenience of some of these offerings cannot be denied. Therefore, while you shouldn’t feel bad about splurging on delivery from time to time, it’s worth looking closely at the costs and determining if they’re really worth your money.