E-Retailers and their carriers still not getting delivery right

The recent UK Consumer Home Delivery Review - 2012 from Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) highlights that, as shown in last year's survey, consumers continue to have the same frustrations around un-successful first-time, on-time delivery of their goods and the lack of real-time information as to the whereabouts of those goods during the delivery process.

"One reason as to why consumers are not being sent real-time updates on the progress of their deliveries, is centred around who 'owns' the data captured during the delivery process," explained Nigel Doust. CEO of Blackbay, supporters of this and the 2011 IMRG Review. "Is it the carrier who is responsible for ensuring deliveries are made on time or is it the e-retailer, who has the expertise in communicating with its customers and delivering quality of service?"
This conundrum will not be quickly resolved, but both parties need to give it their full attention especially as 77% of respondents to the IMRG Review, stated that their delivery experience is influential in positively affecting further purchasing decisions.
"With in excess of 1bn parcels being shipped from online purchases in the UK each year, it is astounding that carrier companies are not using technology, available today, to eliminate consumers' fears around home delivery," added Doust. "Today's enterprise mobility solutions capture the information consumers are demanding, but not all carriers are utilising it and making it available to e-retailers so that they can pass it to their customers."
The UK is Europe's leading e-retail economy with sales estimated to have reached 68.2bn in 2011 which, despite the recession, represents an annual growth level of 16%. For 2012, the UK market is forecast to grow a further 13%. "The UK's online spend per shopper per annum is 1,850, so e-retailers and their carriers are in danger of missing out on this ever growing revenue opportunity if they are not providing a good delivery experience," Doust continued.
Interestingly, this 4th Annual Review, shows that the main concern for consumers is ensuring that they are at home and available to accept a delivery. Consumers are looking for the ability to specify a delivery time slot so that they receive their goods when they expect with no delay i.e. first-time, on-time delivery.
To help achieve first-time on-time delivery, consumers want consistent communication from the e-retailer and/or carrier throughout the delivery process as to the status of the delivery. Specific delivery instructions, dictated by the consumer at the time of placing the online order, must be followed by the delivery driver.
Blackbay's enterprise mobility solutions already track every event in the delivery process. The captured data can be passed to consumers ensuring they receive the proactive communication they want providing the status of their goods and expected delivery time.
"Up to date market research around the Home Delivery market place, like that supported by Blackbay, plays a key role in helping us keep abreast of what consumers want and helps identify where e-retailers and their carriers need to work harder to meet those demands. Consumers' expectations are driven by their experience of the wider digital world and e-retailers and carriers need to deploy the right technology solutions to make sure that they keep pace," said Andrew Starkey, Head of e-Logistics at IMRG
"Consumers are not necessarily demanding lots of delivery choices. They are simply looking for reassurance that when they select a specific delivery option, it will be met and that their home delivery will be made first-time, on-time. Blackbay can help e-retailers and carriers achieve this, right now." concluded Doust.
NB: All stats sourced from IMRG

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