New research has tracked a notable decline in shopper satisfaction with online delivery, after several years of it remaining stable.
The findings come from the IMRG Consumer Delivery Review 2018, an annual survey asking 2,000 UK shoppers 50 questions to understand their perceptions of online delivery. This edition is the 10th in the series, supported by GFS with the survey undertaken by maru/EDR.
Between 2011 and 2017, overall satisfaction with online delivery was steady, but this year’s survey revealed that it fell from 85% to 78% between 2017 and 2018.
The number of respondents saying delivery concerns sometimes prevent them from shopping online also rose from 41% to 48% between 2017 and 2018. While this may initially seem surprising – delivery has arguably got better over recent years as more focus has been put on it by retailers, with growing competition around quality, more options etc – it may also be that shopper expectations have gone up accordingly.
When asked why delivery concerns prevent them from shopping online, the most common responses were:
Risk of failed delivery – 54%
Additional cost of home delivery – 39%
Delivery too slow – 37%
Timeslots too vague – 32%
The risk that goods may not arrive on time – 32%
Neil Cotty, CEO, Global Freight Solutions: “There is a major misconception in the retail space that consumers want fast-and-free delivery, when in reality they want convenience and transparency. The data proves that over half of respondents abandoned an online purchase at check-out stage because of delivery related reasons last year. And with the uncertainty around trade tariffs as a result of Brexit, retailers are bound for even more delivery complications. They’ll need to seriously consider how it will impact their overall eCommerce strategies, in order to give customers a seamless experience, choice, and transparency they expect at the checkout.”
Another factor that may be negatively influencing shopper views of online delivery is the perceived environmental impact. When asked whether they think it is more environmentally-friendly to shop online or on the high street, the shift in perception over the past 10 years is very revealing:
Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG: “While online was once regarded as a cleaner alternative to shopping on the high street – as it consolidated numerous orders into single delivery vans, potentially saving multiple single-purpose high street visits from individual shoppers – the perceived advantage hit a 10-year low in 2018. This is likely being influenced by the focus put on this area by media and government following the Blue Planet II series, with excess packaging being a prime target for negative headlines. This may be dragging down overall satisfaction with online delivery and, if not addressed by retailers, may lead to customers shunning their brands for greener competitors.”