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Peak delivery times rise in 2018, study finds

Average delivery times during the peak period have increased year-on-year, according to a new study.

Retailers now take an average of five days to deliver compared to 3.6 days last year, according to an audit of 57 retailer websites by Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy. The researchers placed 92 orders on the sites on Cyber Monday, with 57 using standard delivery and 35 click and collect.

The study also found that 25% of the retailers examined experienced technical issues during the period. Problems included the inability to place orders and online baskets being wiped before checkout, with some websites becoming more difficult to navigate due to promotional banners and poor search options.

Customers also had to spend 5% more to qualify for free delivery than last year. In addition, one in three retailers were slower than the maximum delivery time.

The top performers for fast delivery were B&Q, Argos, Next, Amazon, Very and Aldi, which delivered parcels within one day of the order being placed. H&M, Very and Marks & Spencer were the best performers for click and collect orders.

Siobhan Gehin, Managing Director at Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy, said: “While many retailers delivered an excellent customer experience, a surprising number of retailers struggled to deliver a strong ordering and delivery experience across channels.

“Those retailers now only have a limited window to fix problems with longer delivery times and technical issues ahead of the Boxing day and January sales, if they’re to satisfy customer’s high expectations.

“Certain UK names are consistently strong while others need to re-focus investment to enhance their competitive agility and ensure they’re equipped to deal with promotional peaks. As brands face fierce competition and wavering customer loyalty, poor performance during these crucial calendar events can leave a lasting impression.“

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