Figures released today from JDA’s latest Customer Pulse Report reveal nearly one in five (19%) UK consumers have experienced problems with home deliveries over the last 12 months.
The survey of 3,139 U.K. adults revealed that of those consumers who experienced problems, 35% suffered from late deliveries; 28% missed deliveries despite being at home, while 26% did not receive goods despite the retailer/delivery company claiming otherwise. In fact, 84% of consumers believe retailers should be held accountable, even if they use third-party delivery companies.
The research also reveals that an increasing number of consumers are turning towards click & collect services, with nearly one in two (48%) consumers stating they have used such services in the last 12 months.
Of those consumers who have used ‘Click & Collect’, convenience (53%) and cost (53%) were by far the biggest reasons for doing so. In the face of growing customer expectations, 61% of respondents stated they would switch retailer based on receiving an ‘unacceptable’ home delivery or click & collect experience. When it comes to brand experience, 57% of consumers believe that many retailers’ in-store and online channels are not well integrated, leading to an inconsistent customer experience.
“Today’s retail customer is demanding a seamless brand interaction. Those that fail to provide this risk damaging their brand and receiving rapid and negative exposure through social media. However, it is clear from the research that a significant number of online orders are failing at the final hurdle,” said Lee Gill, vice president, retail strategy, EMEA at JDA.
“Increasing consumer demand and more intense competition is likely to result in greater fulfillment complexity. Many retailers are now offering click & collect services in an attempt to reduce fulfillment costs, improve service and offer greater convenience. However, the challenge they face is ensuring that they can scale for future growth and deliver a truly consistent experience between their online and in-store operations.”
No substitute for the right product
When it comes to online grocery orders, product substitutions remain a big gripe for shoppers. More than half (55%) stated that substitutions are a major frustration. In fact, more than two thirds (67%) of respondents stated that frequent substitutions would make them consider changing their supermarket.
When it comes to home delivery, the research reveals that cost (64%) rather than convenience (36%) is most important to shoppers. However, nearly a third of consumers (32%) said they would be prepared to pay a premium for the immediacy and convenience of same day (ie within 2 hours) delivery.
- 54% said they would chose a retailer that offers same day delivery over one that offers standard delivery
- 40% said they would chose a retailer that offers same day delivery over one that offers free delivery
- The majority of consumers (57%) would be willing to pay between £1 and £5 for a same day delivery
- Groceries (40%), electrical & entertainments (36%) and clothing and footwear (31%) were the retail segments consumers were most likely to pay a premium for immediacy and convenience
Return to sender
Online returns continue to be a source of discontent for many consumers, with 49% stating that having to pay for returns postage & packaging is their biggest frustration. This was followed by having to return items by post /waiting for couriers (33%) and the inability to return goods to store (22%). When it comes to online fashion, which is the biggest sector for returns, more than half (51%) of shoppers are returning at least one item per year, with the majority (24%) returning one to two items per year. Considering the physical cost to handle returns, this can cost retailers £millions annually.
“The continued growth in online shopping will bring further pressure on retailers’ fulfilment capabilities as they scramble to scale their operations to meet record levels of demand. The future also promises to be more complex, as both consumers and the competition force a contraction in order-to-delivery windows from days to hours and even minutes. It is the new retail battleground, where fulfilment excellence will succeed, as digital and physical supply chain operations converge and customer service is balanced with an eye on profitability,” added Gill.
The omnibus survey of 3,139 U.K. consumers aged 16-64, was commissioned by JDA and conducted by independent research company TNS.