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RETAILX UK ECOMMERCE COUNTRY REPORT: Majority of UK shoppers still prefer delivery


The just launched United Kingdom Ecommerce country report 2023 has revelaed that while UK shoppers like to have a range of delivery and collection options available, the one they choose will vary

Delivery is a major driver of online shopping in the UK, with 58.7% of online shoppers questioned in RetailX Consumer Observatory 2022 research saying they most often ordered online in order to have their order delivered. This is the most popular option by some margin. Shoppers are next most likely to order online to pick up from a third-party collection point (16.9%), which is also a frequently used option for 27.2% of respondents. 13.2% say they most often order in a store for home delivery, although this is also frequently used by 20.3% of respondents. Collection from a retailer’s own store is named fourth as the ‘most used’ option (by 11.1%), although the largest share of respondents (31.8%) say they frequently use this option.

Overall, the research suggests that shoppers in this market will use a variety of delivery or collection methods when ordering online, depending on what is convenient for them at any given moment.

Most shoppers think that the speed of delivery and next-day delivery matter when deciding where to buy online. 43.5% say the availability of speedy delivery is very important as a reason for buying online, while 48.1% say it’s somewhat important. However, the same shopper is likely to take different decisions depending on what and when they are buying. More than a third (37.7%) think next-day delivery is important for most of their purchases, with 31.4% seeing it as important for some of their purchases, while 18.3% think it is important for all of their purchases. Just 12.6% say it is not important for any of their purchases.

Whatever the choice about speed of delivery, online orders are likely to get delivered efficiently. Parcel Monitor research suggests that 94% of orders were delivered at the first attempt in the third quarter of 2022. However, success rates were even higher in the first quarter of 2021 – perhaps because more people were then working from home in the final UK pandemic lockdown.

The use of third-party collection points has varied over time, while remaining at a relatively low level, Parcel Monitor research suggests. While 4.7% of deliveries were made to a collection point in the first quarter of 2021, that gradually fell to 2.8% by the fourth quarter of that year, before recovering to 3.3% in the third quarter of 2022. Those customers ordering to pick up from a collection point tend to do so fairly quickly. In the third quarter of 2022, 66.2% picked up within 24 hours of the parcel arriving. That figure has fluctuated over time, with 73.9% collecting within 24 hours in the third quarter of 2021.

This feature originally appeared in the RetailX United Kingdom Ecommerce country report 2023, which is available to download in full here.

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