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Retailers risking up to a third of their online Christmas sales with poor delivery options

Limited delivery options could mean retailers risking up to 30% of their online Christmas sales, according to new research.

The study of 240 of the UK’s top e-commerce sites found that almost one in five do not offer a premium delivery service; something which could prove critical in the last-minute pre-Christmas rush.

The analysis, by ecommerce and digital agency Visualsoft, found that 17% of the retailers surveyed aren’t offering a premium option, yet 30% of people would deliberately choose retailers who offer a premium delivery choice.

The research also showed that limited shipping options was the cause of basket abandonment in nearly half (46%) of cases.

Amongst delivery options nearly a third (32%) expected a click and collect option although only 9% of purchases actually used it. Store collect was offered by 62% of retailers evaluated in the report.

The study also showed that less than one in five (19%) of retailers incentivised around free delivery – for example for large orders or new customers.

“As online shopping becomes more widely used, so does the variety of needs and tastes it needs to accommodate,” said Tim Johnson, chief sales officer at Visualsoft. “Delivery preferences typify this, with a growing split between those seeking speed and shoppers who put economy first. Failing to meet these expectations (even if they’re less frequently used) can be a costly mistake. It is therefore highly surprising that the UK’s biggest players are still not offering a premium option on delivery during this key period.”

“Many of us have been there: it’s close to the wire and you decide against making a purchase as you’re unsure if that all-important gift for a loved one will make it on time. If retailers can offer a guaranteed solution to this concern then they stand in excellent stead to take advantage of the Christmas opportunity this year,” he said.

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