Home delivery horror stories, and how couriers can get it right

Topic: Retail

Statistically and anecdotally, courier companies have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to delighting customers. We’re exploring the facts and what customers want from home delivery companies.

Big or small, retail companies are heavily invested in delivering an amazing customer experience for consumers. It’s one of the cornerstones of competition – who delights most, wins!
But the world’s most intuitive eCommerce experience, coupled with well priced, unique products, can still disappoint if the delivery experience falls short of expectations. And that’s not something retailers are able to control.
During 2014, the courier and express delivery market increased to a value of £7.8 billion with 2.2 billion packages being delivered. This is estimated to reach three billion by 2019 (source), and, with Royal Mail no longer monopolising the market, hundreds of courier companies and delivery brokers are competing in this space.

Statistics on customer satisfaction with couriers

94 per cent94% of UK consumers have utilised courier or express delivery services in the past six months (source).
79% of respondents reported waiting in for deliveries that turned up late, and 61% of respondents reported not receiving their parcel at all (source).
58% of respondents who’ve had goods delivered by a leading courier rated their experience as bad (source).

Courier-statistics26% of people surveyed are put off online purchases altogether because they don’t want to wait in for a delivery (source).
65% of respondents cited ‘risk of failed delivery’ as their no. 1 reason for not shopping online (source).
68% of shoppers say that a good delivery experience has directly encouraged them to order again from a particular retailer (source).

A retail brand simply can’t afford to let bad experiences in the delivery stage occur; equally, poor performing logistics companies risk losing their contracts with retailers.

What does a good delivery experience look like?

The IMRG study shows that while alternative delivery point / click and collection solutions are growing in popularity, most people (80.6%) prefer home deliveries. So it’s unsurprising, really, that the dream delivery experience is all about visibility and control.
The following stats are taken from the IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review 2016:

83.4% of households83.4% of households want to receive information about the progress of their delivery.
61.9% of households want to receive delivery alerts on the morning of delivery, with a time window specified.

SMS Alerts78.3% want online order tracking, and 76.4% want to receive an ‘in transit’ SMS or email to advise when delivery can be expected.
SMS has overtaken email as the preferred means of receiving delivery information, increasing to 45.03% of households from 38.3% in just one year.

The monetary cost of failure to couriers

In addition to retaining their lucrative contracts with retailers, transport and logistics companies can save considerable internal costs by embracing mobile technology – estimated at £303,855 per year by a 2013 survey from Intermec.
Failed deliveries cost retailers an estimated £711m in 2014 (source), but remarkably, Intermec’s report revealed at 72% of logistics companies had not reevaluated their existing processes for at least two years.

What’s the future of logistics?

The headlines are full of drone and car-boot delivery services, pioneered, of course, by the behemoth that is Amazon. They’re even planning an app that will let ordinary people earn by delivering packages en route to their destinations…
But while Amazon are reaching for the stars, every retailer needs to ensure that they’re not so far behind that they can’t even conceive of catching up.
If the prospect of offering real time delivery notifications, frictionless parcel tracking, and self-serve delivery rescheduling seems like a mountain to climb, get in touch; our retail and logistics team have years of experience in delivering these solutions affordably and effectively, and are here to help.

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