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UK ecommerce more flexible on delivery: report

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Online delivery is becoming ever more flexible in the UK, concludes a leading industry report.

The Snow Valley Online Retail Delivery Report 2011 said that 69% of retailers now offered at least two delivery options, generally standard and next day. That’s a significant rise from the 54% who did so in 2005.

But only some 35% of retailers went beyond this. Of the 253 retailers whose service was analysed during the course of the report, 25% offered Saturday delivery, 17% delivered on a nominated date and 12% giving the option to name a time of day. Nine per cent of retailers offered same day delivery.

Flexibility of where orders were delivered was also improving. Forty-nine retailers allowed customers to collect from their shops, although 11% insisted on delivery to the billing address shown on the payment card.

When it came to prompt delivery, some 81% of deliveries met the time estimates given by the retailer, while 48% of orders arrived within two working days. Larger retailers fared best on timeliness, with 64% of deliveries made within two working days.

Carlo Rimini, chief executive at Snow Valley, said: “This year’s online retail delivery report shows true progress in nearly every aspect of home delivery. The fact that nearly 70% of retailers can now offer a choice of delivery options, up from 54% in 2005, shows customers are getting the flexibility that they want.

“And we’re getting faster: 10% of orders arrived next working day on a standard service, which is fantastic. It’s also pleasing to see so much innovation – same-day delivery, text messaging and being able to collect from a store or a corner shop are just a few examples.”

Publishing the report, the company named John Lewis as the winner of its Golden Chariot award for online retail delivery excellence. It said the department store “scored highly across every aspect of their delivery service,” adding: “Swift fulfillment was combined with fast, accurate responses to all the customer service enquiries that Snow Valley made by email, telephone and twitter. Flexibility was also superb.”

Receipients of the company’s Silver Chariot awards included TopShop, for best cross-channel service, Kiddicare for best customer service, Jo Malone for best brand experience, and ASOS for best international delivery.

Click here to download a free copy of the report.

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