Retailers’ reputations hinge on logistics fulfilment, finds Thomas Eggar survey

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Retailers’ reputations are intrinsically linked to the performance of their logistics partners, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by law firm Thomas Eggar.

The survey, which canvassed the views of 2,063 adults across the UK, found just under a third (32%) of the UK public surveyed online would be more angry with the retailer, rather than the courier or logistics provider, if their delivery of something they had ordered online was late. A further 11% weren’t sure who they would consider to be at fault, while just over half (57%) would be more angry with the courier or logistics provider.

In a further demonstration of the intertwined reputations and commercial fortunes of retailers and their logistics partners, the poll also found over a quarter (27%) of consumers would be more angry with the retailer, rather than the courier or logistics provider, if the product was damaged. An additional 11% also weren’t sure where they believed the fault would lie.

Meanwhile, an overwhelming 93% of UK adults would be more angry with the retailer if the product was wrong or something was missing.

Sarah Birkbeck, partner and head of retail, Thomas Eggar, said: “These results underline how vital it is for retailers and their logistics partners to collaborate to produce solutions that meet the consumers’ ever evolving delivery requirements.

“Clearly, one of the key ways to do this effectively is to ensure that retailers and their suppliers – and potentially, their sub-contractors – have appropriate legal contracts in place. Issues such as liability for loss or damage to goods carried, clear obligations on how suppliers should cooperate with other suppliers of the customer and setting clear responsibilities around creating and maintaining interfaces must be included.

“When entering into partnerships, both parties need to consider whether the contract should include provisions such as providing for continuous improvement to make sure that the solution/ services remain market leading.  The contract might also consider an effective change management mechanism to permit changes to be made to the services during the term and also a pricing mechanism that continues to incentivise supplier innovation.”