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Young shoppers desert retailers over delivery failings


Retailers that don’t live up to shoppers’ expectations about the way delivery is handled risk losing vast numbers of younger customers.
According to a survey of 2,000 UK consumers, carried out by Red Dot Research on behalf of pioneering delivery service, Shutl, almost twice as many (60%) 18-24 year olds than 45-54 year olds (33%) have higher expectations of retailer delivery performance compared to two years ago.

This increased demand from younger shoppers is found elsewhere in the findings. That same cohort of 18-24 year olds, stated overwhelmingly (86%) that delivery options are a key factor influencing their choice of retailer when buying online. This figure however declines steadily as shoppers get older – 83% (25-34s), 82% (35-44s), 73% (45-54s) and 64% (55+).

Similarly, nine out of 10 (90%) 18-24 year olds would shop online more often if they were in control of more convenient delivery options. This is less of an issue for older respondents at 60% (55+); 69% (45-54s); 79% (35–44s) and 88% (25-34s).

Commenting on the findings, Shutl’s CEO Tom Allason said: “While retailers are providing the flexibility and choice that millennials expect today, such as m-commerce, it’s important to keep an eye on who’s coming around the corner. If the trend for growing expectations among younger consumers continues, they need to be thinking about how best to attract the Generation Z shoppers of tomorrow.

“A two-day delivery window will seem archaic to people who have grown up downloading entertainment in seconds. Retailers therefore need ensure they have the delivery options and mechanisms in place needed to give this iGeneration the control of purchasing what they want, when they want it. If they don’t, shoppers will simply switch to a competitor that can.”

Additional Survey Findings:

  • More older shoppers than younger ones feel that a two-four day delivery timeframe is acceptable – 73% (55+), 67% (45-54s); 66% (35-34s); 46% (25-34s) and 58% (18-24s).
  • Delivery options are a key factor when considering an online retailer for 64% of the 55s and over, rising to 72% (45-54s); 81% (35-44s); 83% (25-34s) and peaking at 86% for the 18-24s.
  • Over two thirds (68%) of respondents across all age groups have been discouraged buying online at some stage.
  • 77% of respondents across all age groups said that in recent years a busy lifestyle had prompted them to increasingly shop online.
  • Shoppers based in more rural locations are less demanding than city dwellers. While 34% of urbanites consider under a day a reasonable timeframe for deliveries, 61% of their rural counterparts are prepared to wait between two days and a week.

Additional reading: infographic illustrating some of the key findings of the research.

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