03 August 2012 10:31
New research has found that UK shoppers are spending £3,523 million per year, the equivalent of £136 for every household in the UK, on delivery charges for online shopping.
The study, commissioned by Trimble, surveyed 1,000 UK adults and revealed that rising petrol costs, bagging a bargain and the convenience of shopping from the sofa were among the key reasons that shoppers felt the average £2.99 delivery charge per order was worth the money.
Convenience (36%) was cited as the key reason for shopping via the web with crowded high streets and shopping centres (20%) and busy lifestyles (15%) also driving UK shoppers to shop online. High petrol prices and expensive car park charges were also a contributing factor.
In addition, the report found that consumers are prepared to pay to get the items they want, when they want. The survey found that 40% of shoppers said they would be willing to pay for next day delivery, 22% would pay for delivery within a two-hour slot and nearly three quarters of respondents agreed that fast delivery was a key factor when shopping online.
However, paying a delivery charge set an expectation with consumers for a quality service. The research showed that UK shoppers valued being able to choose a delivery slot, being kept updated if there were any changes to arrival times and friendly delivery teams.
The biggest complaints were shown to be missing a delivery and the parcel being returned to the depot or post office (30%), long delivery times (20%) and high delivery costs (29%), overall contributing to nearly half of all adults feeling unsatisfied with the last delivery to their home.
"Effective delivery is critical to a positive service experience, but the study shows that many companies are not meeting their customer's needs," said Mark Forrest, general manager of Trimble's field service management division.
He added: "The key is keeping commitments; making ones that the company can keep and then ensuring the customer is informed along the way. As the online era is here to stay retailers have a real opportunity to improve their brand recognition and leapfrog the competition by providing excellent customer service."