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Nearly 40% of UK retailers fail to meet delivery times, report finds

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A new study aims to highlight the gaps in delivery reliability, tracking transparency and customer service automation for major UK retailers, as well as “disappointing” shipping fees.

Inside The UK’s Top 100 Retailers’ Post-Purchase Secrets Report 2024, produced by parcelLab and Salesupply, found that half of retailers fail to provide crucial information about delivery times on their product detail pages. This includes a lack of clear communication about delivery times.

“Nearly 40% of retailers fail to meet their advertised delivery times, indicating a gap between customer expectations and actual service delivery,” explained Tobi Buxhoidt, CEO at parcelLab.

“Reliable delivery is a critical factor in customer satisfaction and retention, and the report reveals that a significant number of retailers are not achieving this. This is a stark reminder that timely and reliable delivery is not just a logistical necessity but the foundation of customer satisfaction and retention.”

Although 55% of retailers link their tracking directly to the carrier, which improves transparency and trust with customers, nearly half are missing an opportunity to enhance customer experience through better tracking visibility.

The report also found that nearly 20% of retailers always charge for delivery, with over 80% of retailers provide express delivery, averaging £6.93. Industries like health, cosmetics and jewellery imposing the lowest surcharges. Express delivery options can attract customers who need their purchases quickly and are willing to pay for expedited shipping.

Customer Service improved by automation
Some, 66% of online retailers now use chatbots to manage customer queries. The report said this adoption of automation highlights the need for retailers to balance efficiency with personalised customer service.

Especially as it also found 50% of online shops take more than five minutes to respond to customer calls. Only 14% of retailers have call centres available evenings and weekends, missing potential customer engagement opportunities.

Jonathon Huggett, senior business developer at Salesupply, added: “These findings should serve as a call to action for UK retailers to critically assess and improve their customer service to deliver the exceptional service that today’s customers expect and deserve.”

Discover how the UK Top500 retailers handle delivery in the tenth edition of the RetailX UK Top500 2024 report.

As well as looking at the Operations Value Chain, the full report also covers the Customer, Product and Capital Value Chains, with case studies on Amazon, Ikea, Next, Asda, Dunelm, Boden, Richer Sounds and Very.

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