Christmas deliveries taking longer than before due to online demand

Christmas orders are taking two days longer to arrive than previous years, due to the level of demand from online shopping.

While retailers’ capabilities for delivery may be focused on streamlining their operations, consumers may actually be left waiting longer for deliveries as shops struggle to keep up with online shopping order fulfilment.

Retail analysts at consultancy firm Accenture found retail delivery times during the Christmas period have increased in recent years, now taking an average five days to deliver, compared to 3.6 days last year.

Of the 57 retailers Accenture’s report tracked, one in three were slower at getting parcels to their owners than their stated maximum delivery time. 

What’s more, a quarter of retailers admitted they had struggled to cope with purchasing demand during peak shopping periods.

Accenture added that customers were also being asked to spend more in order to reach a free delivery threshold, which rose by five per cent year-on-year.

“While many retailers delivered an excellent customer experience, a surprising number of retailers struggled to deliver a strong ordering and delivery experience across channels,” said Siobhán Géhin, the managing director for Accenture consulting firm Kurt Salmon.

“Those retailers now only have a limited window to fix problems with longer delivery times and technical issues ahead of the Boxing day and January sales, if they’re to satisfy customer’s high expectations.

“Certain UK names are consistently strong while others need to re-focus investment to enhance their competitive agility and ensure they’re equipped to deal with promotional peaks.

“As brands face fierce competition and wavering customer loyalty, poor performance during these crucial calendar events can leave a lasting impression,” Géhin added.

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