The verdict is starting to come in on online delivery, Christmas 2010.
According to two pieces of research published this week, a sizeable minority of customers received Christmas orders late – with many missing out on getting them by Christmas Day altogether.
An Econsultancy study found more than a quarter of customers received their Christmas orders late, while one in six (17%) told Intersperience that gifts ordered on line did not arrive in time for Christmas Day.
And, said Intersperience, a customer research specialist, 25% of shoppers said they spent less as a result of problems such as late delivery.
Internet sales were boosted by the snowy weather, says the Intersperience report, with 35% of shoppers spending more online than they had expected. But overall Christmas spending was down by £245m, it found. That wasn’t because of snowy weather – but because of economic uncertainty.
Paul Hudson, chief executive of Intersperience, said: “Our survey clearly shows that economic confidence had a bigger negative influence on actual Christmas spending than snow. Harsh weather drove more people online but consumers told us even before the snow hit that they would spend less.”
Meanwhile, according to the Econsultancy report, consumers were disappointed by unusually high levels of late orders. Some 26.24% told the survey, carried out for it by Toluna, that their orders had arrived late. Disappointment was intensified by those 26.8% who said they hadn’t been advised of possible delays by retailers before they bought.
Most orders, says the report, were just a day late but for almost 20% of respondents, orders were delayed by more than a week. This was important since almost 28% said they would not shop again with a retailer that failed to deliver on time.