Retailers are from Mars, Customers are from Venus

No primary category set

Online retailers are offering delivery options that shoppers don’t want but not offering the ones they do, according to new research from software company OrderDynamics.

A survey of 2,000 consumers on their retail expectations and a retailer benchmark study of more than 60 retailers on the services and experiences they offer revealed a startling mis-match and one which flies in the face of many recommendations.

For instance advice by many (including eBay) is that customers are demanding next day delivery and so 61% of retailers surveyed offered it but only 10% of customers are willing to pay extra for this service. The reality is that what 54% of customers actually want is a named delivery date however only 15% of retailers can confirm the delivery date at the time of placing an order.

The mismatch of retailer services and consumer expectations

Highly relevant to eBay’s recent Click & Collect initiative is that 32% of consumers reported they would use a click & collect service if it was available, and half of online retailers benchmarked provide this facility.

Kevin Sterneckert, CMO of OrderDynamics explains that customers do not see channels. “They have one relationship with and one view of the retailer, and they want to hear you say ‘yes’ to their desires and to deliver that experience ‘now’.” If they buy, they want the choice of which day the item will be delivered or the option of collecting it and their preference doesn’t necessarily fit pre-conceived ideas of what we may think we should offer.

OrderDynamics help retailers activate commerce from first interaction to final fulfilment with our Dynamic Action, Commerce Platform and Order Management solutions and services. You can find out more about them on their website and get more details their consumer survey and the retailer benchmark findings in their report ‘Customer Relationships: The rules of attraction’.

17 Responses

  1. Is this US research Chris?

    Haven’t read the article which requires a ‘registration’ (Sorry but I don’t want to increase my online footprint with software outfits).

  2. These surveys are fine, but when you get down to the nitty gritty many do not want to cough up the cash that it would cost to provide some of these services.

    I personally cannot see me using click and collect as a buyer, unless it was next day click and collect or same day. And even then it would not be as much as good old RM.

    I can see click and collect working for a small minority that are never home and are out and about a lot lol

  3. I’ve always been suspicious of eBay’s focus on next day, and also the importance placed on tracked. I have said many times, the answer you get from research depends on the questions you ask, and therefore on the quality of the question setter.

    I always offer a guaranteed delivery option, and agree with other sellers, that despite this being apparently what the customer wants, according to ebay, the take up is minimal. As John says, the customer wants it but won’t pay for it.

    The only true data in this area is to offer all possible options, see what the customer chooses, and then draw together data from a number of sellers doing the same.

    My suspicion is the customer will always opt for the cheapest unless it is really slow delivery.

  4. Click and Collect will be an interesting experiment. 34% say they want it, but come Christmas I wonder how many will say “I’ve got too much to do anyway, and I don’t want to go to Argos”. It sounds convenient, but will it be in practice?

  5. I would always prefer orders to come via Royal Mail. In my area (London) they are more reliable than most couriers. If you not in the sorting office is near by to collect from (click and collect). It is also easy to arrange re-delivery. Special Delivery always seems to work for urgent things.

  6. Click and Collect is great, but when you sell items for £5 you just can’t offer it for free.

  7. Think main problem with all of the survey summaries that are published like this, is no parameters are given for the summarised results (or very often in the details).

    e.g. Click and collect has no values given for travel time to collect and waiting time. If I had a choice between a package being delivered to my home, and C&C taking an hour round trip and 30 mins queuing time, choice is easy. If C& C was 5 minute walk, 24 hours opening and no queueing time, choice is easy.

    If it’s something a customer would go to a shop to buy anyway, C&C is just a reservation service.

    Did the 32% from ebays survey specify how much time they would be prepared to spend collecting?

    Same applies to last years fad – free postage, no parameters, just summarised as that’s what customers want. If read the reports published covering free postage, there are diverse conclusions on exactly what should be offered, depending on what questions were asked.

    Any options offered to customers have to be sensible and practical for the seller and buyer, not fogetting that any costs incurred have to be paid for (ultimately by the customer).


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