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Online retailers score top service marks in Germany and UK for delivery


It’s hearty congratulations all round for the online retail and delivery sectors, according to Hermes, which has published research that found people in the UK and Germany are very satisfied with the service they are getting.
For its fifth annual International Shopping Survey, more than 2,000 consumers in the UK and 1,000 in Germany, were asked to rate their satisfaction levels with customer service departments across a number of industries.

Online retailers came out top with 95% of UK respondents. and 93% in Germany saying they were satisfied with the levels of service they receive. Delivery companies came a close second scoring 83% (UK) and 84% (Germany).

When compared with other sectors these results look even more encouraging. Local Authorities scored just 65% in the UK and 62% in Germany. Utilities, mobile phone companies, banks and internet service providers also scored lower in both countries.

Innovation in delivery

Delivery innovations are of interest to shoppers in the UK and Germany, and point to a sizeable number of people being open to the idea of paying more for a premium service.

The most popular (39% for both UK and Germany) was having a secure box fitted outside the home for small or medium sized parcels. Environmentally friendly electric vehicles also scored well (36% in the UK, 45% in Germany) as did the idea of deliveries being made to the person rather than the address (30% in the UK, 26% in Germany) and the idea of paying an annual delivery subscription fee to a courier appeals to 27% in the UK and 40% in Germany.

A number of newer service ideas are proving less appealing, according to Hermes, which has a network of 10,000 lifestyle couriers, 5,000 parcel shops, and handles in excess of 200m parcels in the UK each year.

The use of a social delivery service such as Nimber only appeals to around 10% of people in the UK and 18% in Germany, for example, and delivery to the boot of your car ranks even lower (8% in the UK, 7% in Germany).

Over three quarters of respondents believe that delivery services are improving, thanks to an increase in new services and better communication. Home delivery still remains by far the most popular option for online orders, with over 70% in both countries putting it top of their list of preferred options and saying it is more convenient than click-and-collect.

Growth of repeat shopping

The 2015 Survey shows the number of regular online shoppers (three times a week) has grown from 26% (13.5 million shoppers) to 36% (18.7 million shoppers) in the UK – an increase of 39%. In Germany the respective figures are 11% (7.8 million online shoppers) in 2013, to 20% (14.1 million shoppers) in 2015 – an increase of 82%.

The number of shoppers making 11 or more purchases online per quarter has also risen considerably in the last two years, from 11% in 2013 to 16% in 2015 (UK) and from 9% in 2013 to 13% in 2015 (Germany). Over half of UK respondents say that they currently shop more online than in the previous year, with 35% planning to shop even more next year. In Germany these figures are 49% and 25% respectively.

Commenting on the research findings, Carole Woodhead, CEO at Hermes UK, said: “This is the fifth year of the Hermes International Shopping Survey which has once again delivered some fascinating findings. The research reveals that there are now more than 18.7 million people that regularly shop online within the UK alone, whilst more than a third of consumers will shop online even more during 2016. This goes to show that the retail industry is certainly doing something right. Moving forward, there is no doubt that the fast growth of online shopping continues to provide real opportunities and challenges for the industry and a good understanding of consumer behaviour and expectations is essential.

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