Waiting in for online shopping deliveries will cost economy £868 million this Christmas: new study
The research by parcel delivery company CollectPlus shows that the average person wastes 31 hours and 48 minutes waiting in for deliveries over the course of the year, with 41% of UK consumers taking time off work to stay at home to wait in for a parcel. This is either as paid holiday, time off agreed with an employer or even as sick leave; with men twice as likely as women to take the day off sick.
While industry group IMRG and consultants Capgemini predict online sales will reach a record £10 billion this December, the study found that shoppers frequently experience problems when it comes to the delivery of their online purchases.
As well as missing work, 23% of people surveyed said they had missed or been late for meeting friends and 9% said they had missed or been late for medical appointments or important family occasions. Of those who had waited in for a delivery in the past, over 75% complained that a package had turned up late, with 61% claiming it never arrived at all.
The study found that the frustration of waiting for shopping to be delivered is making some consumers think twice about purchasing goods over the internet. One in four people surveyed said they had been put off ordering something online because they did not want to wait for delivery at home, and one in five had not completed an order because they could not specify a delivery time of their choice.
The research also shows that people are more likely to wait in for some goods than others. While 42% of people surveyed said they were willing to wait in for electronics and technology goods, 35% were prepared to wait in for home and garden products. Women were found to be twice as likely as men to wait in for fashion items, while men were twice as likely as women to wait in for sport and leisure items.
Neil Ashworth, chief executive of CollectPlus, said: “Our research shows that inflexible deliveries are damaging the overall shopping experience for customers. Part of the appeal of shopping online is the convenience it offers, but as well as being able to make their purchases when they want, people also want to be able to get their goods at a time and a place that suits them. There’s nothing more annoying than getting home after a busy day at work to find a ‘while you were out’ card waiting for you instead of the purchases you were expecting, which you then have to spend time arranging re-delivery for or going out of your way to collect it.
“Retailers must offer customers convenience in the delivery process. Click and collect services – whether in-store or at third party locations such as convenience stores – put the customer back in control and are a great antidote to the problems people have historically faced when shopping online.”
Chris Webster, VP, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, added: “With Christmas looming and thesurge in e-retail sales, customers are looking for increased convenience when it comes to delivery or collection of their shopping. While home delivery is perfect in theory, failed deliveries is a challenge for retailers and customers alike as we try to track down parcels, arrange for redeliveries and eventually collect them from far from convenient locations – what I call the accidental click and collect.
“Click and collect provides the ideal compromise, enabling customers to collect their items at a time and place of their choosing, whether from a retailer’s high-street store, a local shop or from one of the new locker services. So this Christmas, customers will opt to choose for click and collect rather than it happening by accident.”
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