Pandemic delivery delays show importance of Track & Trace in eCommerce

Online retail sector affected by downturn

As the nation battles to deliver an effective Track and Trace system to combat a rising number of Coronavirus cases, latest research has revealed the importance of similar technology to eCommerce stores.

65 per cent of UK consumers experienced eCommerce delivery delays during the Covid-19 peak, resulting in an average delay of 1.9 days. However, UK consumers are quite patient in times of crises: before the pandemic they were willing to wait a maximum of 4.0 days for their order to arrive, during the peak they were willing to wait almost a week (6.7 days).

The results are taken from Sendcloud’s recently commissioned eCommerce report in which the effects of the global pandemic on eCommerce are unveiled. The research shows not only the importance of using technology to increase customer satisfaction in the delivery experience but also the priorities UK consumers have when it comes to shopping online.

So what do consumers expect when it comes to communication about their order status? The key is some form of communication is better than none. 57 per cent of British consumers most prefer to receive updates about the status of their delivery through SMS, whilst 54 per cent would like to get their updates via eMail. 35 per cent of UK shoppers also find a carrier’s own tracking app handy in keeping them up to date with deliveries.

In comparison to their European counterparts, British consumers appear to seek immediate access to their tracking updates and are on top of their online orders. In mainland Europe most consumers prefer eMail communication (64 per cent), SMS comes second (43 per cent), and carrier tracking apps are, in most countries, not popular at all, with only 24 per cent saying they would like to use such an app to receive delivery updates.

With a second wave of Covid-19 appearing to rear its ugly head in the UK and around Europe and the busy shopping periods of Black Friday and Christmas looming large, eCommerce businesses must ensure systems are in place to keep customers up to date. Delays are unavoidable, consumers are understanding, but ensuring customer satisfaction may just be a differentiator between a one-off or repeat sale.

Those without one already in place may want to follow suit with the 77 per cent of online retailers who indicate that automated Track & Trace emails are very important to them.

Rob van den Heuvel, CEO, Sendcloud, comments on the findings: “Now more than ever it’s important the delivery experience is not only stress-free, but engaging for the end user. Consumers are most involved with their order when it’s on its way – using effective Tracking and Tracing technology in the delivery process offers the chance for online retailers to increase customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.

“Improvements in online customer experience are becoming vitally important to retailers as the UK eCommerce sector booms. Standard methods of delivery are beginning to appear outdated and when over 40 per cent of UK consumers are willing to use a smart lock to receive a package when they are not home, eCommerce stores should look to diversify the delivery experience they offer.”

“Keeping up to date with technology is hugely important as consumers continue to increase the amount of online shopping they do. Whether it’s improving the UI experience on their website or installing effective track and tracking systems, UK online retailers need to take advantage of the new technology available to them if they are to win online.”

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