With Black Friday fast approaching and online orders of consumer goods set to surge through the peak retail season, new research has uncovered widespread mistreatment of consumer parcels from delivery companies. Almost one in three (32 per cent) UK shoppers report having found their time-critical or high-importance parcels left outside, unprotected from the rain. Just under a fifth have discovered their parcels in a dustbin (18 per cent), with a non-specified neighbour (19 per cent) or simply at the wrong address (18 per cent).
The research, conducted by parcelLab and YouGov, reveals that the widespread mishandling of online orders led to an estimated 8.9 million UK shoppers receiving a parcel of high importance in a damaged state.
Such disregard for consumer purchases during the delivery process erodes trust in businesses and causes many to reevaluate which retailers they order from, and which couriers they use. Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of UK shoppers blame the delivery company or courier when they stay at home for delivery and the item is not delivered. A further 20 per cent blame the brand or retailer they have ordered from.
What’s more, in response to the late or failed delivery of essential items, Brits opt to punish retailers at higher rates than their American counterparts: over a third of Brits (36 per cent) would choose not to order from that retailer again, compared to 34 per cent of Americans. By the same token, well over half of Brits (57 per cent) would complain to the customer services team compared to just (48 per cent) of Americans.
At a time of continuing inflation and difficult economic circumstances for businesses and consumers alike, poor standards of delivery for online orders may be hurting the bottom line for businesses. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of UK shoppers would actively inform their friends and family to not order from a retailer following a bad experience providing a major headache for companies trying to drive loyalty through peak season.
With that said, an estimated 2.6 million UK shoppers reported finding their essential parcels in a garden hedge, demonstrating the extent of parcel mistreatment and challenge to reestablish trust in the delivery process.
Tobias Buxhoidt, Founder and CEO of parcelLab, commented: “The final steps of the delivery process should not be a period of concern, but one of excitement for consumers and opportunity for retailers. Simple steps can be implemented to alleviate concerns of a damaged order, from order tracking and management to complete transparency when issues do arise. With peak season approaching and businesses under increasing financial pressures, it is imperative that complete customer experience—from shopping to purchase to delivery – is at the forefront of retailers’ minds. Maximising loyalty is a crucial way to stay competitive and keep customers onside through difficult times. Those that dismiss the demand for a high- quality customer experience will almost certainly see the impact in their bottom lines.”
Finally, the research revealed that systemic issues facing the UK economy and supply chains continue to impact the trust consumers have to order online. Nearly a third of consumers said that supply chain issues continue to impact their faith in online delivery