Three quarters (73%) of UK shoppers have abandoned an online shop because of restricted or expensive delivery options, according to new research from leading parcel company DPD.
Forty per cent of online shoppers complained they are generally not offered a free delivery option and 37% said retailers annoy them when they limit the delivery options or pre-select expensive options.
When questioned about their preferred delivery options, three quarters of people said free delivery. However, 26% felt timed delivery slots were more preferable than free deliveries, while 41% of shoppers called on retailers to offer a wider range of delivery options.
Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO, said: “Delivery is an integral part of e-retailing – the sale isn’t complete until the customer receives their goods. And as our survey shows, the cost and speed of delivery are crucial factors in whether a customer completes a transaction or abandons their shopping cart at the checkout.
“Online shopping is the fastest growing retail sector and customers are no longer happy to accept a restricted set of delivery options, they want choice and flexibility in when and how they receive their purchases. So, retailers have to consider how best to provide customers with a set of delivery options which reflect their product offering and reassure the shopper that their goods will be delivered quickly and cost effectively.
“Delivery companies are working hard to innovate services in this area and options like DPD’s Predict have given retailers a far better customer experience at the checkout and on the doorstep, as more parcels are delivered right first time.
Dwain said: “Online cart abandonment costs e-tailers millions of pounds each year in lost sales. Put simply, limited delivery options cost sales.”
Professor of supply chain strategy at Cranfield School of Management, Richard Wilding, said: “For online retailers, home delivery is now a critically important part of the overall customer experience. Generally the customer does not differentiate between the courier and the company the item was purchased from, therefore a poor experience reflects badly on the retailer. However, a good delivery experience can enhance their reputation, gain customer loyalty and increase sales.”
DPD offers a range of delivery services including a one-hour timeslot service, Predict, which is free of charge for all retailers. The service utilises the latest GPS tracking technology to provide customers with a one-hour delivery window so they do not have to wait in all day for their parcel, said DPD.
A personalised text message or email is sent to customers giving a precise one hour window for delivery. The customer can then either accept the one-hour window or reply to the message to rearrange the delivery.
DPD said Predict has been responsible for improving retailers’ right first time (RFT) delivery rates on average by 10% nationally, and by as much as 38% as customers find it more convenient to wait in for one hour than potentially waste a whole day.