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Customers want more convenient delivery options: study

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Most shoppers now want retailers to provide more delivery options, according to a new study that also suggests lack of convenience is a significant factor in failed deliveries.

A survey carried out for delivery experience specialist Sorted questioned 2,000 UK adults, and found 70% wanted to see more flexible delivery options, while 66% agreed with the statement that retailers and delivery companies should work more closely to make deliveries smooth and successful.

Almost half (46%) of shoppers said convenience and personalisation of fulfilment were key factors in online buying decisions – demonstrating the shifting expectations that delivery options should be built around consumers’ lifestyles – but a quarter (27%) said they thought delivery was disconnected from the rest of the retail experience.

Lack of convenience accounted for 25% of all failed online deliveries, the study found, due to shoppers not being able to change delivery options once an item had been shipped, underpinning the impact of not mirroring the fast and flexible fulfilment options that customers now expect.

Almost a quarter (23%) said that more progressive, location-based delivery options would improve the delivery experience, through more convenient ‘to device deliveries’, where an order is delivered to a customer by geo-locating their smartphone, kerb side fulfilment using their car’s Bluetooth location or drone delivery (pictured).

David Grimes, chief executive at Sorted, said: “Retailers no longer govern industry progress or change – instead, it is now in the hands of the consumer. Despite recent focuses on improving the delivery and fulfilment side of customer buying journeys, these findings highlight the worrying reality that shoppers are simply not satisfied with current levels of service.”

He added: “This should be a great concern to retailers, as shoppers won’t remain loyal to brands if they aren’t offered convenient, cheap and enjoyable experiences right the way through their purchasing journey. For too long, delivery – the last point of interaction with the customer – has been inflexible and provided little value to the shopping experience. By ignoring consumer demands, such as a desire for more delivery options, retailers risk losing customers to competitors who are adapting to the needs connected shoppers.”

The study chimes with InternetRetailing Top500 research that found Top500 retailers offered, on average, between two and three (2.5) delivery options. Find out more in the IRUK Top500 Performance Dimension Report 2017 on Operations & Logistics.

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