Mar 26, 2019
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Shopper satisfaction with online delivery sees first big drop in six years

Mar 26, 2019

Rising customer expectations and growing awareness of the environmental impact of logistics may be to blame for a notable decline in shopper satisfaction with online delivery.

A survey of 2,000 UK shoppers commissioned by IMRG and Global Freight Solutions has found that customers are less satisfied with online delivery than they were in 2017, despite retailers offering more options and faster delivery.

Last year, overall satisfaction with delivery fell to 78% from 85% in 2017, ending a period of relative stability which had continued since in 2011.

There was also a higher proportion of respondents saying delivery concerns sometimes prevent them from shopping online, rising from 41% in 2017 to 48% last year. Amongst some of consumers’ biggest worries are risk of failed delivery (54%) and having to pay an extra free for home delivery (39%). 37% of respondents also said slow deliveries prevent them from shopping online and 32% worry that goods may not arrive on time.

“There is a major misconception in the retail space that consumers want fast-and-free delivery, when in reality they want convenience and transparency,” commented Neil Cotty, CEO of Global Freight Solutions.

“The data proves that over half of respondents abandoned an online purchase at check-out stage because of delivery related reasons last year. And with the uncertainty around trade tariffs as a result of Brexit, retailers are bound for even more delivery complications.”

Customer satisfaction with returns has also declined, falling to about 60% despite a brief improvement in 2017.


In addition to finding a decline in satisfaction, the survey found that shoppers are concerned about the environmental impact of online delivery, possibly due to the massively popular Blue Planet TV series and its recent focus on the issue of excess packaging.

“While online was once regarded as a cleaner alternative to shopping on the high street – as it consolidated numerous orders into single delivery vans, potentially saving multiple single-purpose high street visits from individual shoppers – the perceived advantage hit a 10-year low in 2018,” said Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG.

“This is likely being influenced by the focus put on this area by media and government following the Blue Planet II series, with excess packaging being a prime target for negative headlines. This may be dragging down overall satisfaction with online delivery and, if not addressed by retailers, may lead to customers shunning their brands for greener competitors.”

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