Online Retailers still struggle to meet consumer expectations on delivery

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The latest Operations and Logistics Report from IRUK maps how the UK’s leading retailers are giving customers the fulfilment choices they want and demand, while ensuring that service is delivered at a profit. The research, which analysed the range of delivery, collection and returns policies of the top 500 retailers in the UK, was also backed up by mystery shopping.

The findings showed that Schuh, Boots, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Superdry and Amazon ranked as the top performers in the retail industry.

The report highlighted that although nearly half of the top 500 UK retailers offer free returns, 75% of consumers also expect free delivery. And only 25% offered that option.

It was found that the elite retailers have transformed expectations. Martin Shaw, Lead Researcher at Internet Retailing said that “Fast delivery to a convenient point is now largely taken for granted and the boundaries are constantly being pushed with an innovative blend of new technology and old-style customer service. Even among mainstream retailers, there’s a surprising divergence in the number of delivery options on offer. Retailers see offering delivery options as a point of differentiation”

Sean McGee at Schuh, said: “You have to make sure that the cost of the parcel is reflected in the overall mathematics that you do when you try to work out that you’re making a profit, and you need to be happy with those costs.”

You can download the full report here.

7 Responses

  1. it is worrying for the state of UK retail when a senior spokesperson has to “try” to work out if they are making a profit given the logistics maze. Either you are making a profit or you are not. There should be no “try” about it. Way too much choice offered these days. What happened to the “keep it simple stupid” rule of retailing? Sadly ebay have encouraged sellers to offer this logistics maze by only giving incentives to those who offer multiple shipping choice and “free” shipping. For those “Amazon wanabees” out there how about reviewing the Amazon finances before coming up with your grand plan to take over the world!

  2. ebay take their cut whether you make a profit or not. And they take their cut on shipping costs also so of course they want buyers to opt for more expensive shipping options and for sellers to offer these options!

  3. Online Consumers still struggle to accept Retailers’ offers on delivery.

    They want to pay economy and be delivered express.

    It’s our job to educate them. eBay is not helping by making unreal promises.

  4. Whilst i roll my eyes when the adverts come on with order by 10pm for next day delivery, as i believe customers will think if they can do it then why cant everybody.

    So in anticipation of the new iphone coming out today, i decided to put it too the test as O2 were offering order by 9pm get it next day, so i placed my order at 8.58 and guess what, it was delivered 13 hours later to number 21 Union Street.

    Unfortunately the delivery address was number 21 High Street, the next street along.

    Both addresses are retail premises, so although it was signed for, the manager then gave me a bell and i went round to collect it.

    It doesn’t matter what is promised, the service is only as good as the delivery person.


  5. every ones selling the same thing, from the same place ,to the same people ,
    as Martin Shaw alluded to , delivery time is the only differential with many sales


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