The power of free delivery upon conversion rates has been highlighted by a new report that suggests that 80% of European online shoppers are willing to exceed minimum order thresholds in order to qualify for free delivery or collection.
The YouGov research from JDA and Centiro surveyed more than 8,000 European online shoppers to find out, amongst other things, how delivery charges impacted spend.
But the study also showed how intolerant of mistakes consumers are with nearly two-thirds (63%) of European consumers saying that they would switch to an alternative retailer as a result of a poor experience with an online home delivery, or when using a click and collect service.
When it comes to the UK however, shoppers were shown to be even less forgiving with nearly three-quarters (74%) of UK shoppers saying that a poor delivery experience would be enough to see them switch.
Problems with home delivery
Delivery is proving far from plain sailing for retailers with the research suggesting that 1 in 2 European shoppers had experienced a problem with an online order home delivery in the last 12 months alone. This is fuelling a further move to customers using click and collect services.
Almost half (49%) of those surveyed had used click and collect, with France and the UK seeing the highest rate of adoption of click and collect services over the last year at 59% and 54% respectively.
But here too the survey shows problems, with more than half (54%) of European shoppers having encountered an issue with the service. The incident rate is highest in Germany (65%) and lowest in the UK (45%), the latter most likely to do with the fact that it’s a more mature market that has better got to grips with the operational challenges of click and collect.
Returns are also an issue
With the delivery supply chain as much about reverse logistics as last mile deliveries, the issue of returns was also examined. It showed that 46% of European online shoppers returned goods as a result of them not meeting their expectations. However, 16% said that they bought multiple items with the intention of returning goods they did not want. Highest in Germany and the UK at 23% and 19% respectively the figures suggest a trend of serial returners in those markets – meaning that the returns experience is as important for retailers and shoppers alike.
“Delivering a high level of service in an efficient and profitable manner remains a challenge for many retailers,” said Jason Shorrock, vice president retail strategy EMEA at JDA. “Now more than ever it’s important for retailers to ensure they are offering outstanding customer service, or they risk damaging customer relationships and revenue,” he said.