UK’s leading DTC retail brands fail to deliver when it comes to the customer check out experience

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Despite sustainability issues sitting at the heart of many consumers minds now, especially given the growth in online shopping habits, a new report has revealed that the UK’s top direct to consumer (DTC) retailers are failing when it comes to offering eco-friendly delivery options to shoppers. The study by parcelLab, the leading operations experience platform, highlights that 94% of DTC brands don’t offer customers the option for less packaging, while 96% don’t provide shoppers with a carbon neutral delivery alternative.

The DTC report series, which looks at different aspects of the customer journey when ordering from the UK’s top 50 DTC brands, reveals that despite the growing desire among consumers for choice and control over their shopping delivery experience, almost two thirds (62%) don’t offer next day delivery and just 10% offer click and collect as an option. Comparatively, 87% of the UK’s top 150 retailers offer a collection service, either in store or from a parcel shop. Over half (52%) of DTC retailers only offer customer standard delivery and just 20% allow customers to choose their carrier of choice when placing an order. Where this is an option, 80% of brands will charge to use this option.

The study also examines aspects of the checkout process blockers, which may prevent a customer completing a purchase and highlights that over a third (34%) of DTC retailers still don’t offer guest checkout. Just over a quarter (28%) always offer free shipping, while 16% will always charge and just over half (56%) provide free shipping with a minimum spend. Options like a delivery pass, such as a one-off payment in return for free delivery for the year, aren’t being used by any of the DTC retail brands surveyed. Despite the likes of Buy now, Pay Later services increasing in popularity recently, only 20% of the top 50 UK DTC brands provide this option compared to 41% within the wider retail space.

Tobias Buxhoidt, Founder and CEO of parcelLab, commented: “For DTC brands, the online experience counts for everything. While these digitally native brands were certainly in a strong position to respond to the pandemic, they must ensure they remain able to continue meeting the expectations of shoppers even with physical retailers re-opening. Understanding what matters to consumers and providing this at every stage of the customer journey is crucial for succeeding over the competition.

Despite the notion that DTC retailers are digitally savvy in comparison to counterparts in the wider retail space, as the report indicates, there is significant room for improvement where the customer experience is concerned. Offering consumers choice and control, as well as identifying and alleviating obstacles that might put them off are all important to the overall shopping experience, and will be critical when it comes to driving loyal customers and revenue growth.”