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New research shows too many customers still face delivery problems

Customers are still facing problems with orders and deliveries on online goods, according to the latest YouGov research (surveying 2,000 consumers) from retail supply chain and logistics specialist JDA and Centiro.

Their research shows that more than half of customers (56%) had a problem with online deliveries in the past 12 months, up from 53% the year before. Of these delivery and state of delivery proved the biggest problems with 42% of those who had a problem experiencing a late delivery; 37% missing a delivery despite being at home; 25% never receiving an item and 24% receiving an item that was damaged.

The research also showed that retailers are trying to overcome many of the challenges customers are having with click and collect services, as an alternative to home delivery however. The number of UK adults that have used click and collect in the last 12 months and experienced an issue with the service fell to 43%, down from 45% in 2016.

Of those that experienced problems with a click and collect order within the last 12 months, 26% cited long waiting times due to a lack of staff (down from 35% in 2016) and 18% said staff had been unable to locate click and collect items in store (down from 32% in 2016).

More than half of the UK online shoppers surveyed (54%) said they had used click and collect in the last 12 months and nearly a quarter (23%) of these users said that they had made an additional purchase in-store when picking up a click and collect order.

“Fulfilment and ‘last-mile’ issues continue to hinder retailers’ efforts at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly intolerant of poor service,” said Jason Shorrock, vice president, retail strategy EMEA at JDA.

The study also showed that returns remain a problem for retailers. The figures suggest that a third (33%) of UK adults who shop online return up to two non-grocery items a year, and 25% return three or more non-grocery items a year. 38% said they returned because items weren’t as expected, 32% because it was faulty and 17% because they had ordered multiple options.

“Effectively dealing with returns can’t be ignored. The research shows that for nearly two thirds of consumers, the ease of being able to return items factors into who they shop online with,” said Niklas Hedin, CEO of Centiro. “Retailers need to see returns as another customer touchpoint, and a way to make a positive impression that engenders greater customer loyalty. It will be those retailers that offer a full-circle brand experience that will capture the larger share of customer wallets,” he said.

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