More than 60 per cent of consumers have faced delivery problems when receiving an online purchase, while 10 per cent have experienced problems with a Christmas delivery, a new survey has found.
In an online survey of 2,000 people, consumer group Which? found that, while 80 per cent of shoppers bought presents online, one in 10 reported an issue and, with Cyber Monday fast approaching and the busiest shopping period of the year already underway, Paul Doble, Director at independent logistics firm DX, explained the importance of delivering a rounded service.
“With the busiest shopping period of the year fast approaching, retailers need to make sure that their online operations reflect the needs of today‘s consumers,” he said.
“Flexible delivery options can really make or break the shopping experience and, as such, retailers need to make it much easier for Customers to control this part of the ordering process.
“Furthermore, retailers need to realise that the carrier‘s role is an important part of the shopping experience; offering a more personalised service for high value items, for example, can create a sense of prestige and can actually have a profound effect on how the customer feels about the product being delivered.”
Around 66 per cent of consumers had been left disappointed on Christmas Day as parcels did not arrive in time despite placing orders more than a fortnight before the cut off date while others feel they have been the victims of “dodgy tactics”.
Problems experienced ranged from parcels left out in the rain to deliveries being thrown over fences and Which? warned that a majority of Brits are not aware of their rights.
While almost 70 per cent of respondents realised that damaged goods could be returned and replaced even if they had been signed for, only 40 per cent realised that parcels left with neighbours who then say they have no knowledge of receiving it can be resent to you at no extra cost.
Clearly it is important for consumers to understand their rights in such matters, particularly during the Christmas season, though retailers must realise that shoppers‘ high expectations over the period can be met through technology innovation, explained one expert.
Craig Sears Black, UK Managing Director of supply chain process platform Manhattan Associates, told Retail Gazette: “Christmas represents a huge opportunity for retailers to make the most of consumers‘ increasingly selective readiness to part with their hard-earned cash.
“It‘s a small window of opportunity in the shopping calendar to get things right and ensure orders are taken and fulfilled without letting customers down. In today‘s market, retailers only have one chance to get it right before a customer goes elsewhere.
“However, they have a fine line to tread though as they look to make the most of the Christmas rush. On the one hand they must guarantee products arrive to fill store shelves in time, are delivered to customers in a manner and time that suits them and are available in sufficient quantities.
“But, they also have to balance this by making sure they are not left with a huge surplus of residual stock remaining once Christmas is over.The key to managing peaks in demand is having a true demand-driven supply chain.
“This type of nimble and agile supply chain has always been the Holy Grail of retailers around the world however recent advances in technology mean that true demand driven supply chains are finally becoming a reality.”