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Almost one in ten doubt online delivery promises: survey

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Almost one in 10 shoppers say they won't order online this Christmas because of previous bad experiences when it comes to delivery, a new study has found.

Postcode Anywhere quizzed 1,000 UK consumers and found 9% said they would not buy online this year because of delivery problems they previously experienced. While more than half of those polled said they had never had a problem with online Christmas deliveries in the past, a significant 27% said they had.

Most respondents (54%) said too many orders were "putting a strain on the network," followed by adverse weather (52%), not allowing enough time for delivery (36%), low stock levels (26%) and typing in incorrect address details (8%).

Phil Rothwell, sales and marketing director at Postcode Anywhere, said a good Christmas would improve retailers' sales - but getting it wrong could hit reputations.

He said: “It’s important for ecommerce owners this year to promise only what they can realistically deliver. That means keeping right on top of stock levels, and ensuring the customer-facing website reflects what’s happening in the warehouse or stock room. It also demands some knowledge of what’s going on at the end of the fulfilment chain. If you know you’re not going to be able to make 100 deliveries in a day then don’t advertise that you can.

“As well as limiting expectations, online businesses need to work harder. Providing consumers with timed delivery slots, for instance, is just one of many ways retailers can help avoid these hassles. We released news earlier this year that showed that nearly two-thirds of consumers see delivery windows as important, so it’s clearly going to be a concern at Christmas.

“What this survey reflects is that while the logistical damage of last December’s weather may have been repaired, the emotional wounds it caused to those affected are yet to fully heal. This year, the industry needs to come good, whatever the circumstances.”

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