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Consumers want certain not same-day delivery, finds survey

UK consumers prioritise specific time slots over ultra-fast options such as same-day delivery, a new survey has found.

The report by parcel data management company NetDespatch found that only 3% of consumers believe same-day delivery is a must-have.

The survey found that 29% felt next-day delivery was usually sufficient while 62% believed two to five-day delivery was usually fine.

On the subject of what makes a positive delivery experience, 96% of respondents said order confirmations were fairly or very important, 91% a predicted delivery window and 92% delivery confirmations.

In-flight options, rolled out by an increasing number of carriers recently, were lower on the agenda, with 46% highlighting these as not at all or not very important. In addition, 48% don’t want more self-service options such as click and collect.

The report surveyed 2013 UK adults who had received deliveries in the past six months.

Matthew Robertson, co-CEO of NetDespatch said: “The results expose the myth that consumers want ever-faster deliveries and multiple self-service delivery options. This should be a welcome reality check that what customers primarily want is to know that their order has been successfully taken and delivered, and when they can expect their parcel.”

He added: “In the light of these consumer preferences the question is whether, by focusing obsessively on delivery speed and offering more and more out-of-home options, the industry is unnecessarily setting itself up to fail? Our survey indicates that UK consumers prefer straightforward delivery-to-home in a one to five-day timeframe at a time that suits them.

“They want an accurate service that tells them when to expect their delivery. They are not looking for alternative options such as parcel locker or in-boot delivery. These have become red herrings that distract from what the customer really wants from parcel delivery.”

The importance of speed was also questioned in UPS’s annual Pulse of the Online Shopper survey. The report found that 55% of consumers would consider a slower but cheaper option if available. Customers also said they would consider incentives to accept slower shipping, such as account credit (39%) or a gift card (31%).

The lack of enthusiasm for same-day options may reflect the fact that demand for faster delivery is highly contingent on what the product is. When consumers say same-day is not a must-have it may simply indicate that they don’t believe most retailers need to provide same-day on the types of products they offer.

Few retailers or couriers would expect consumers to want same-day delivery for all products and the option is generally priced at a premium accordingly.

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