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Pandemic reshapes consumers’ last-mile delivery expectations

The pandemic is reshaping consumer expectations around last-mile delivery services, according to a new survey from UPS which surveyed 10,000 consumers across Europe including 2,000 UK consumers.

The results show that in the UK there has been a 67% rise in intent to shop all or mostly online post-pandemic. But the delivery experience remains vital. 79% of UK consumers say the reliability of a retailer’s delivery partner is important, while just over half (53%) want large retailers to have carbon footprint offsetting for deliveries.

The desire for free returns and free delivery also remains key, with 54% of UK consumers shopping online because of free delivery options and 63% saying that free returns was an important factor when choosing to shop online.

Overall a retailer’s choice of delivery partner was the top decision factor for 85% of consumers, with 41% saying this will be a key driver in future purchases. Sustainability is the next most important driver, for 75% of respondents.

The survey also showed the importance of sustainable packaging, with 54% expecting this of large brands and 50% expecting this from smaller brands.

Arthur Lam, marketing director at UPS UK, says: “The pandemic has accelerated digital shopping trends in an unprecedented manner. As the market becomes more competitive for ecommerce businesses, differentiation, through personalised customer services will become even more essential for those looking to stand out.”

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