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How are the Growth2000 fulfilling the delivery promise?

Direct to consumer: the next frontier for ecommerce

The RetailX Growth 2000 2021 report offers industry insight into the 2,000 up-and-coming retailers selling in the UK that follow the Top500. Inside, we name the leading 25 retailers in each of four growth-focused Dimensions – Find, Mobile, Delivery and Checkout.

Digital Editor, Scarlette Isaac, looks at how these retailers measure up when it comes to offering a competitive delivery experience.

What delivery promises do Growth 2000 retailers make?

Demand for delivery has grown over more than 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, with shoppers increasingly turning online to do their shopping. This has put more pressure on logistics capacity and RetailX research appears to show it slowing down the speed at which shoppers can now expect to get their purchases delivered.

So how long is the wait for standard delivery? Our findings showed that the Growth 2000 retailers promise to make a standard delivery in a median of five days – one day longer than last year – and an average of 5.7 days, or 0.2 days longer. This time frame varies depending on the sector. Greeting cards, gifts (3.7 days) and alcohol (4.2 days) were among the faster median deliveries, while some marketplace hosts took up to 6 days.

Standard delivery costs a median of £4 and an average of £5.50. Software retailers tend to charge less, at a median of £2.67, whereas grocery (£4.49) and kitchenware (£4.93) are on the higher end of the scale.

Zooming in on delivery types, 873 Growth 2000 retailers offer free delivery with an average minimum spend of £64.50. Compared to metrics from last year, we have seen a rise of £3.30 – and a median of £49, or £3 more. Next day delivery is offered by 38% of our sellers – down eight percentage points since last year when almost half of retailers offered the service (46%). On the other hand, just 3% of Growth 2000 retailers offer same-day delivery in 2021 – the same proportion as in 2020 – among the 1,154 retailers assessed on this metric both this year and last.

What do Growth 2000 returns policies look like?

On average, retailers give shoppers 52.5 days to return any unwanted goods. That’s 11.6 days less than last year. Longer median returns periods are offered by retailers selling sports and outdoor equipment (28 days), sports and leisure footwear (28.3) and clothing (28.8) as well as fashion accessories (28).

More than a third (34%) of Growth 2000 retailers offer prepaid returns – up from 31% a year earlier. Fashion footwear (55%) and clothing (49%) are among the most likely to prepay returns as are those selling jewellery (51%), sports and leisure footwear and eyewear (both 47%). Less likely are those selling hobby and entertainment supplies (16%), despite a 5pp rise in the percentage doing so, and groceries (19%). Sectors that adopted the service fastest included garden products (+7pp to 23%), alcoholic drinks (+7pp to 31%), and books (+7pp to 29%). No sectors reduced their use.

The analysis featured in this article is rooted in findings from the RetailX Growth 2000 UK 2021 report. Download here for further insight into the Growth 2000 retailers and their performance within Find, Mobile and Checkout.

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