SDCExec.com Online Exclusive

Retailers Have No Room for Error When it Comes to Goods Delivery

Hamilton, N.J.Nov. 26, 2012—Voice solutions provider Voxware released research highlighting how late or inaccurate deliveries impact consumers’ future decisions to shop with a retailer online, by phone or in the store. A total of 600 consumers were surveyed on their expectations for delivery of items that they purchase online or by phone during the holiday shopping season and beyond.

“For a retailer to be successful, it is absolutely essential to get the right product to the right customer in a timely manner—delays and inaccuracies will have a disastrous impact on customer satisfaction, brand image and bottom lines,” said Keith Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer, Voxware. “With this survey, we wanted to better understand consumer expectations for correct and on-time deliveries. The results prove that with just one error or delay, many consumers will abandon shopping with that retailer—not only online but in-store as well. Efficiency and accuracy are more critical than ever as consumer expectations rise in parallel with their increase in online shopping.”

Findings of the survey reports that:

  • A total of 29 percent of respondents will abandon shopping with a retailer altogether if they receive an incorrect delivery just once
  • A total of 62 percent of respondents are much less or less likely to shop with a retailer online or by phone for future purchases if an item they purchase online or by phone is not delivered within two days of the date promised
  • A total of 68 percent of respondents noted that their expectations for correct and on-time delivery of items that they purchase online or by phone are higher during the holiday shopping season
  • A total of 30 percent of respondents intend to have more or significantly more holiday purchases delivered directly to them this holiday season

 

Respondents also answered how quickly they expect a retailer to deliver an item that they purchase online or by phone assuming the retailer is using standard shipping.

  • A total of five percent of respondents said one-to-two days
  • A total of 43 percent of respondents said three-to-four days
  • A total of 40 percent of respondents said five-to-six days
  • A total of 12 percent of respondents said seven or more days

 

Survey participants also verified how likely they are to shop with a retailer online or by phone for future purchases if an item they purchase online or by phone is not delivered within two days of the date promised.

  • A total of 29 percent answered that they are much less likely to shop with that retailer online or by phone for future purchases
  • A total of 33 percent answered that they are less likely to shop with that retailer online or by phone for future purchases

 

Late deliveries impact not only future online and phone purchases but future in-store purchases as well. Respondents were asked how many times they would need to receive an item that they purchased online or by phone later than the promised delivery date before abandoning shopping with that retailer altogether.

  • A total of 17 percent of surveyed respondents will abandon shopping with a retailer altogether after receiving a late delivery one time
  • A total of 55 percent of surveyed respondents will abandon shopping with a retailer altogether after receiving a late delivery two-to-three times

                                          

In addition, while respondents have high expectations for on-time deliveries, they are even less forgiving for incorrect deliveries. In fact, 29 percent of respondents noted that they would abandon shopping with a retailer altogether if they received one incorrect delivery. Additionally, 59 percent of respondents noted that they would abandon shopping with a retailer altogether if they received two-to-three incorrect deliveries.

Also, 56 percent of respondents noted that up to 10 percent of the items that they purchased online or by phone arrived later than the delivery date, while 44 percent responded that up to 10 percent of their items have been incorrect due to retailer error (for example, the retailer shipped the incorrect size, color or product).

Holiday delivery expectations

Expectations for delivery time during the holidays are similar to expectations at other times of the year. Although retailers are addressing significantly more order requests and delivering substantially more packages, the vast majority of consumers still expect delivery within three-to-six days (assuming the retailer is providing free shipping).

  • A total of 38 percent of respondents said that they expect holiday gifts purchased online or by phone to be delivered within three-to-four days
  • A total of 42 percent of respondents said that they expect holiday gifts purchased online or by phone to be delivered within five-to-six days

 

Of the survey participants, 68 percent noted that their expectations for correct and on-time delivery of items that they purchase online or by phone are higher during the holiday shopping season. Further, 30 percent of respondents stated that they intend to have more/or significantly more holiday gifts delivered directly to them this year than during last holiday season. When asked what percentage of the holiday gifts they purchased last holiday season were delivered directly to them versus bought in store, 29 percent said less than 20 percent; 22 percent said 21 to 40 percent; 19 percent said 41 to 60 percent; 12 percent said 61 to 80 percent; and 19 percent said 81 to 100 percent.

Therefore, although half of respondents had between 40 to 100 percent of their holiday gifts delivered directly to them last holiday season, retailers can expect even more direct-to-consumer orders this year.

“As the popularity of online shopping has exploded, retailers have not given enough attention to optimizing their supply chain for multi-channel distribution,” noted Phillips. “Many still have an out-dated distribution center infrastructure in place and as a result, order fulfillment is often suboptimal. Most inefficiencies and errors occur in the distribution center at the moment of order selection, which has the largest impact on ensuring timely, accurate customer fulfillment. This is why voice technology can bring tremendous benefits to a retail organization. Because voice software lets retail warehouse workers remain hands-free, they can move more quickly, process more orders and easily scale to address seasonal demands.”

Loading