Shoppers are more willing to pay a small amount for delivery and collections if they can take possession of their online order at a time that suits them best. That’s a top-line finding of a new study from etail trade association the IMRG.
The IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review 2018/2019 study questioned members of 1,000 households about their delivery and collection preferences and found that expectations were changing around the cost of delivery.
Most (79%) respondents said that home delivery remained their preferred option, while click and collect was preferred only by 12%. That was not always possible, however - 58% said there was someone at home during normal delivery hours. Among those not opting for home delivery, 12% said they normally had items delivered to work, and similar proportion to a click and collect location, while similar proportions (10%) opted for an alternative delivery location and they would and for collection from a Post Office. The research found that “in the right circumstances [click and collect] is the most convenient or appropriate option and worth an extra fee. In addition, the market is moving to change the perception that click and collect can be provided at no extra cost.” An increasing number of leading retailers now make a small charge for in-store click and collect - and the IMRG study found that more than 30% of shoppers would be willing to pay either £1 or £2 for click and collect.
Asked what would make taking delivery more convenient, 70% said they’d like access to online order tracking, while 67% said they wanted to choose a specific delivery day, and 63.7% a specific delivery time slot. The study showed that when they decide not to buy an item for a reason related to delivery, more than 50% said the additional cost of delivery had made the overall purchase too expansive, while more than 30% said it was because there was no free delivery option. In 2018, 46% of respondents were members of a delivery loyalty scheme, up from 29.7% in 2017, while 77% said they had spent more to get free delivery, and 52% said they had spent more to get faster delivery. Asked if they would pay more for a delivery where they could specify the time slot, 76% said they would pay between £1 and £2, falling to 39% who would be willing to pay more than that. “The evidence suggests that for most delivery alternatives and options, a £2 premium is a natural threshold,” the report said.
The latest IRUK Top500 2019 research found that some Top500 retailers are reducing the convenience of their offer – in contrast to what IMRG found that customers wanted. The IRUK Top500 study found that in 2019 more than half (58%) of retailers offered next-day delivery. That’s down by five percentage points from 63% last year. However, the proportion of retailers offering same-day delivery stayed in line with last year, at 5%, while 16% offered nominated-day delivery, and 7% nominated-time delivery. Some 13% of Top500 retailers offered Sunday delivery.
And while 60% of Top500 retailers enabled their customers to pick up an online order from a store, the number of retailers offering next-day collection (23%) fell from last year according to analysis that tracked the change among retailers included in both the 2018 and the 2019 Top500. In 2018, 43% offered next-day collection and in 2019, 29% did so. In 2019, 11% of the Top500 offered same-day pick-up. Contrasting those retailers that were included in the indexes both years, in 2018, 21% offered same day collection, and in 2019, 14% did so.
In 2019, the average standard fee for collection was £1.31, although most made no charge: the median charge was zero, unchanged from the previous year. Retailers enabled shoppers to collect their items in an average – and median – of three days, a figure that remained stable since last year. Just 1% of retailers offered shoppers the ability to collect their product from a locker that they own. That’s down from 2% last year.