Last-mile delivery and consumer behaviour in e-commerce: A systematic literature review

Yi Liu, Vaggelis Giannikas, Fotios Petropoulos, Stanley Frederick W.T. Lim

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review



Last-mile delivery has been recognised as one of the most important components in e-commerce service efficiency, whilst it also includes a number of factors affecting consumer behaviour. The purpose of this paper is twofold: Firstly, to synthesise elements in last-mile delivery that play an essential role in consumer behaviour. Secondly, to critically analyse models that reveal a relationship between delivery factors and consumer behaviour.

Research Approach

This paper follows a systematic literature review methodology. We review papers with key words related to ‘last-mile delivery’, ‘e-commerce’ and ‘consumer behaviour’ from the Scopus database. Our analysis is performed on 45 papers, selected following a rigorous, judgemental evaluation of their relevance to the topic and the quality of their theory, methodology, analysis and overall contribution.

Findings and Originality

We identify several delivery factors affecting consumer behaviour in the context of e-commerce. The factors of delivery fee and delivery time are critically important across various studies. Also, the availability of different delivery methods is of interest to customers as it increases their option space. Methodologically, most studies use surveys to study customer preferences and behaviour. There is a lack of studies that utilise other types of data, such as experimental data from lab or field experiments.

Research Impact

Our work synthesises relevant academic studies and demonstrate potential research gaps to be explored in the future. Even though, the majority of current research investigates the connection between delivery services and customer behaviour, we argue that the scope needs to be extended to include aspects of the upstream supply chain that affect delivery services, and as a result, consumer behaviour. We also argue that using field data from real-life settings can help observe actual consumer behaviour –rather than intentions–, refine hypotheses and help develop new experimental settings.

Practical Impact

The results of this study provide practitioners with a holistic view on the logistics factors affecting consumer behaviour. This can be used to better understand purchase and repurchase behaviour and lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction. Most importantly, this study indicates that, although the delivery charge is still an important factor that affects consumer behaviour, other aspects such as delivery method plays an increasingly important role. The importance of speed as a key factor also requires more careful examination as very fast deliveries are not always a customer requirement.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Evente-LRN 2020 Special Web Conference: Sustainable and resilient supply chains during crises - , UK United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sept 202011 Sept 2020


Conferencee-LRN 2020 Special Web Conference
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


  • last-mile delivery
  • consumer behaviour
  • e-commerce
  • systematic literature review


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