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Online shoppers want more for less from home delivery

As the growth in Internet shopping continues to gather pace, consumers are wanting more for less from a home delivery service according to new industry research from Hermes.

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Online shoppers want more for less from home delivery

As the growth in Internet shopping continues to gather pace, consumers are wanting more for less from a home delivery service according to new industry research from Hermes.

The Parcel Deliveries Usage & Attitude Survey found that Saturday was the preferred delivery day for 72 per cent of shoppers, whilst there was also a significant demand for evening deliveries. However, cost was the key consideration for 95 per cent of the respondents, with many reluctant to pay an additional charge for premium delivery services despite having high service expectations.

The survey was conducted amongst 1,000 Internet shoppers who had taken deliveries from e-retailers at least three times in the preceding three months. On average 62 per cent of respondents shopped online twice a month, with 21 per cent ordering products online at least once a week. Clothes, CDs, DVDs, books, electrical goods and health and beauty items made up a large proportion of purchases, but there was also a diverse mix of products ranging from a chicken coop to a remote controlled helicopter.

The findings suggest that online shoppers now expect added value services such as SMS notification and real-time tracking information as standard, and there is a growing unwillingness to pay for premium options such as guaranteed next-day and specific delivery days. In fact, 25 per cent of respondents said they would not pay anything extra for guaranteed next-day delivery, with a further 50 per cent unwilling to pay more than a £2.00 charge. Meanwhile, 45 per cent did not want to pay to select a specific delivery day and only 15 per cent thought that an additional charge above £2.00 was acceptable.

Despite this, consumers are still looking for added convenience from a home delivery service that enables them to receive their parcel when and where they want it. As a result, 75 per cent of respondents would prefer a delivery being made to a neighbour or left in a safe place to avoid the hassle of rearranging a shipment. There seems little concern about leaving parcels at an adjacent property with 82 per cent saying they trusted their neighbours and 75 per cent claiming to know them at least quite well.

The returns process remains a continuing issue for online shoppers, with 16 per cent returning at least one item per order. More than 50 per cent have used the Post Office to return goods but of those that have, 39 per cent found it inconvenient and 30 per cent found the experience slow. However, 78 per cent said that they would find a returns service that could be organised online and collected from their home or a safe place appealing.

The online research, conducted by SharpFocus on behalf of Hermes, the UK’s largest courier delivery network, surveyed 1,000 Internet shoppers who had taken deliveries from e-retailers at least three times in the proceeding three months.

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