Shoppers prepared to pay delivery costs for convenience of online orders

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Shoppers from across the UK are spending a total of £3.5bn per year – £136.00 for every household – on delivery charges for online shopping, but believe it’s a price worth paying, according to research commissioned by GPs tracking system supplier, Trimble.

The study by OnePoll, which surveyed 1,000 UK adults, revealed rising petrol costs, bagging a bargain and the convenience of shopping from the sofa are among the key reasons that make the average £2.99 delivery charge per order worth the money.

The Trimble research supports reports of an increase in shopping online, with nearly two thirds of shoppers saying they buy more online now than they did five years ago and 88.9% agreeing they expect to be spending more or the same online between now and 2017.

Convenience (36%) is cited as the key reason for shopping via the web but crowded high streets and shopping centres (20%) and busy lifestyles (15%) are also driving UK shoppers to abandon the high street. Controversially, 7.6m UK adults would go as far as to say the UK high street is dead and over fifth of all respondents would like to do most of their shopping online, if they could, researchers found.

Perhaps surprisingly, the current economic hard times are playing a part in encouraging consumers to shop online. High petrol prices and hefty car park charges are seeing many shoppers opting to stay at home and order via the web, preferring to pay for home delivery.

When it comes to charges one quarter of UK adults believe delivery costs are too high, but the Trimble report revealed consumers are prepared to pay to get the items they want, when they want; 40% of shoppers are willing to pay for next day delivery, 22% would pay for delivery within a two-hour slot and nearly three quarters of respondents agree fast delivery is a key factor when shopping online.

But it’s clear paying a delivery charge sets an expectation with consumers for a quality service. UK shoppers’ value being able to choose a delivery slot, being kept updated if there are any changes to arrival times and friendly delivery teams.

UK consumers biggest gripes with online shopping are missing a delivery and the parcel being returned to the depot or post office (30%), long delivery time (20%) and high delivery costs (29%), overall contributing to nearly half of all adults feeling unsatisfied with the last delivery to their home.

“Effective delivery is critical to a positive service experience, but the study shows that many companies are not meeting their customer’s needs,” said Mark Forrest, general manager of Trimble’s field service management division.

“The key is keeping commitments; making ones the company can keep and then ensuring the customer is informed along the way. As the online era is here to stay retailers have a real opportunity to improve their brand recognition and leapfrog the competition by providing excellent customer service.”