Retailers face £2.3bn worth of failed deliveries during the Christmas trading period

New research shows

With the average Brit planning to spend £255 on Christmas gifts online, failed deliveries present a significant challenge to retailers during peak trading, research from the latest report by Sorted, the delivery experience company, warns.

With UK consumers planning to spend 53 per cent of their Christmas budget online, original research of 2,000 UK shoppers in the new Coming Together: The Blueprint For Collaborative Commerce Report from Sorted indicates that there could be up to £2.3bn worth of failed online deliveries during peak trading this year.  

This, the report, suggests will create a returns issue for retailers, with failed Christmas online orders that don’t arrive on time set to cost retailers £464.9m in returned goods alone. 

And, failed deliveries don’t just impact on the number of returns.  They also have wider implications on customer lifetime value, as customer loyalty is compromised.  Two fifths (39 per cent) of shoppers lose faith in a retailer’s ability to meet their needs if a parcel isn’t delivered in time, and almost half (48 per cent) say a late delivery would make them less likely to shop with that retailer again.

Lack of convenience accounts for a quarter 25 per cent of failed deliveries due to shoppers not being able to change their delivery options once an item has been shipped – 13 per cent have realised in advance that they would be out for a delivery time slot and not been able to rearrange the shipment, while 12 per cent have gone out last minute knowing an item is due for delivery.  A further 17% got bored waiting for a delivery that they couldn’t reschedule and gave up waiting, only to find a delivery ‘calling card’ left when they returned.

David Grimes, founder and CEO at Sorted, commented: “As retailers increasingly compete on the last mile, consumers have now become accustomed to receiving seamless deliveries - they expect speed, convenience and personalisation as standard.  And, with the time pressure of delivering orders in time for Christmas, shoppers’ expectations reach fever pitch.”

“To enhance the delivery experience and meet consumers’ demands, retailers need to closely manage customer expectations about speed of delivery during peak trading.  Simple functionality, such as letting customers choose from a range of the best available delivery options to define what the perfect delivery looks like to them, and then delivering on that promise, will greatly reduce delayed orders and, ultimately, returns during peak trading.”

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