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Pandemic driving shoppers online, but retailers missing opportunity due to failed deliveries
From browsing to basket, the world of the modern shopper has changed, as have their expectations for delivery, according to today’s 2021 Fixing Failed Deliveries report from GBG, the global specialist in identity data intelligence.
As shoppers were forced online to shop throughout the pandemic, retailers rushed to offer and optimise the customer journey online, which saw the spotlight fall on the defective delivery experience.
The report reveals that 24% of businesses saw more than one in ten orders fail to be delivered at the first attempt and 76% of the consumers surveyed reported at least one late delivery in the past year. Poor address data was central to this issue.
The report surveyed 300 retailers and more than 3,000 consumers to unveil the real impact of delivery in the new world of online retail. It revealed that seven in ten (69%) businesses have seen an increase in their average online order value, since the pandemic hit. Despite this surge in revenue, almost as many businesses (68%) said that failed or late delivery is a “significant cost” to their operation.
Research shows the surge in digital retail sales over the past 12 months is set to continue as consumers opt to shop online rather than head back to the high street. The report unearths the changing consumer journey and the need to deliver the optimal online engagement from browsing to checkout, through to final delivery. Key areas of improvement across the digital shopping experience include:
- The focus on failed deliveries: Ninety-nine percent of eCommerce organisations own up to failed deliveries across some portion of their orders and these costs are far-reaching. On average in the UK, 6% of first-time deliveries fail, at an average cost of £11.60 per order, totaling £68k per business per year. Most consumers expect compensation for this and many firms feel this is only fair: 53% try to redeliver with 36% paying any additional courier charge, 41% offer a refund; and 34% apply a discount
- The importance of mobile apps: There’s been a 46% increase in consumers shopping via their smartphones over the past year alone, and retailers aren’t always accounting for this. Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) people complained that ordering via their device is harder than shopping via computer, particularly when entering payment details (23%), entering their order (20%), navigating the checkout process (17%), and entering their address details (13%)
- A good user experience is key: Four in ten people (41%) will abandon an order if it isn’t easy to enter their personal information. Furthermore, 70% claimed they’d be more likely to shop online with vendors that had a clean, streamlined checkout process and 42% said they have more trust in retailers who offer address autocomplete options over those that don’t
- Addresses aren’t always properly verified: One-third of study respondents either don’t verify address data or leave it up to the courier. When addresses are inaccurate or incomplete, 41 percent of deliveries are delayed, and 39 percent simply fail. Some businesses utilise internal address verification systems, which may be a cheaper option but don’t provide the accuracy and reliability of third-party address verification software.
Of the research, Matthew Furneaux – eCommerce expert and Director, Location Intelligence at GBG, said:“While the high street is set to reopen, there is no doubt that online shopping is here to stay as consumers opt for the convenience of staying home and shopping online. At the same time users are demanding a seamless experience from logging on, to checking out, through to receiving their final delivery, and retailers are missing out by only focusing on the online experience while neglecting the final mile. Brand loyalty is increasingly tied to these touchpoints, as consumers are excited by both their order and its arrival. Businesses need to make sure they’re optimising every stage in the digital journey or run the risk of losing trust, customers, and revenue.”
“As the digital high street becomes increasingly crowded, it will only become more important that retailers have the best data, tech, and people on hand to prevent fulfilment failure and make sure they’re delivering the ultimate online experience to meet demand. By implementing smart technologies like auto-complete and data verification, check out processes are simple and fast, and delivery details are confirmed and accurate to ensure retailers reach every customer, everywhere, the first time around,” concluded Furneaux.
For more on the 2021 Fixing Failed Deliveries report, please see here.