Christmas shoppers spent £1.2 billion with retailers who failed to deliver on time, IOC finds

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UK customers spent £1.2 billion last Christmas on gifts that failed to arrive on time. One in 10 (11%) of UK customers received their Christmas deliveries more than two weeks late last year, according to new research from The Institute of Customer Service.

The figures reveal these experiences influence customers’ perception of retailers, affecting whether they will return for their Christmas shopping this year. The Institute of Customer Service found 60% of shoppers have been put off shopping with retailers who failed to deliver on time, clearly indicating delays will lose customers.

Nearly three quarters (71%) of consumers surveyed received their Christmas deliveries up to five days late. Of those experiencing delays, the proportion of customers missing out on high value items is significant, with UK customers spending on average £232.50 with a retailer who failed to deliver the gift on time.

Consumers are also spending their valuable working hours dealing with late deliveries, affecting their productivity at work. The research found that over a quarter (28%) of UK customers had to take an hour out of their working day in the last three months to sort out customer service issues with deliveries.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, commented: “As businesses approach Christmas, it’s important they learn lessons from last year. Within the current retail context, brands cannot afford to be let down by their suppliers and businesses need to make wise procurement decisions, which shouldn’t be overly influenced by price.

“In a competitive environment, retailers need to ensure an excellent end-to-end customer service experience. Customers will blame the brand as much as the delivery company if they experience problems, and this could negatively impact their reputation and sales the following year, with wider Institute research revealing that improvements in customer service could add £81.5 billion to the UK GDP in just 12 months.”